October 18, 2007, 7:00 am

The Primerica Paradox: The Conclusion Part 1

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career,Personal Finance,Primerica Series
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When I first started this series of three articles, I wanted to draft an honest, non-biased point of view on Primerica. While I am well aware that this is not a simple task, I will try with this post to explain why I personally decided not to join Primerica.




I do not intend to bash Primerica but there are obvious reasons why I decided that this company was not made for me. So after reading more about the way they approach people and their speech, I am presenting my personal conclusion on Primerica.

I thought about joining my friend’s team for a while. The idea of having my own business, my own sales force was very appealing. My friend was very enthusiastic about the whole project and was constantly reminding me how great I would do in such system. Finally, I decided that Primerica was not what I was looking for. This post is for those who consider working for Primerica, I think I highlighted a few points to be considered first.


A very strong business culture

A very strong point for Primerica is the success they know implementing their business culture. Everybody knows that it is much easier to motivate your troop and convince them of working hard when they acknowledge and believe in the company’s vision. Primerica was able to set up a solid bubble around their advisors which is not a bad thing. Each individual makes their own choice as to what they believe in and what not. However, I must admit that such strong culture scared me away as I hate to be tied up to something. I believe in myself, not in what a company may think. In addition do that, Saturday reunions were a bit too much of involvement for me.

A great training program

Depending on who is in charge of your training, I must say that they have a strong process in training their new advisors. As your recruiter is making a percentage over your sales, he has a strong interest in your own success. This is why you will be followed and encouraged at every level. People will tell you they want you succeed and grow as a better person. I believe more that they depend on this success and their wallet will grow along the way. Nonetheless, Primerica offers a great support to their new advisors while other company may tend to leave them on their own.

Bank or No bank?

This is where you start to see the scratches in the picture. It is well known that Primerica claims to represent the banks’ arch enemy. They show themselves as being somewhat personal finance saviours while banks are trying desperately to take a dip into your pockets without really caring about your needs or benefits. They claim they are only there to help people and banks are only there to take out their profit. I claim that this is pretty funny!

Fake it until you prove it

This point is more based on my first experience than on my several discussions with my friend. In fact, my friend showed me his last year pay stub and was making a decent income. Unfortunately for him, he was not making enough to make me think twice about leaving my current job. However, when I first attempt to a Primerica meeting, all advisors were talking about how great the company is and how much they are making money without working much. As an example, they explained that it takes about 10 hours to find a client and close a sale. Then, an average sale would result into about $800 of commission for the advisor (at a low level). So if you are making the math correctly, you should earn about $83,200 a year by working 20 hours (2 sales per week for 20 hours of work*$800*52 weeks). So if it is that simple, how come they are not all driving Bmers? Most of them will fake their success until they make it to the top… or they die with their lies. Primerica will more bring this method with the fact that you have to think and act like a winner to become one. It’s all in the perception of things, but I still call it “fake it until you prove it”. While it is not directly related to Primerica, it is still a technique used by a lot of their advisors.

I have more to say on the topic but I know that you are busy and that you have to leave shortly. This is why I will post the end of my Primerica Series tomorrow with the conclusion part 2.

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I spent 5 years with the company and had these observations:

1. Outdated Business Model: Primerica’s business model is around thirty years old and a lot has changed. When the company first started, the founder began a crusade to provide cheaper, higher coverage term life insurance to the masses. It was an easy environment to replace cash value policies, get out cash if there was any, reduce payments or increase coverage. Information and competition in the term life insurance market was scarce so agents could make money and consumers felt relatively good about Primerica’s crusade.

2. Competition: In the meantime, the rest of the insurance companies have responded with similar and even better term life insurance products. Now Primerica agents contend with almost the reverse of what they had in the beginning—hard to compete with term life insurance products in restricted markets. For example, if the client is uninsurable with Primerica, over age 70 or needs permanent life insurance for estate planning, most of the time the agents cannot meet their needs. The competition has taken the lead in the crusade and Primerica has not kept up.

3. The Internet: Today, the internet gives consumers access to easily compare products and pricing and Primerica’s are often not competitive. Beyond limited term life insurance, their lending products, mutual funds and variable annuties are also less attractive to consumers who can readily find many other suitable products and companies to buy from without the pressure to be recruited or to refer other friends and family.

The internet also provides an unfiltered forum for dissatisfied agents to vent their frustrations. Recruiting becomes more difficult because there are thousands of negative comments, many of which are very valid. The old adage, “You can fool some of the people, some of the time, but it is hard to fool all of the people all of the time”, probably applies, as well as, “Where there is smoke, there is probably fire”.

4. Legacy Costs: Primerica also faces the same legacy costs haunting many of the older companies such as the airline and auto manufactures. Paying large sums of money to “retirees” who are no longer working (selling or producing) hinders these companies’ ability to compete with the newer, financially unburdened companies. However, Primerica needs to promote the idea of reaping big rewards for having big hierarchies and therefore must continually pour profits into the older generations at the expense of competitive new products.
History shows the legacy cost can be handled in several ways:
1. the company is sold with assets being bought and liabilities being dropped
2. the company simple goes out of business
3. legacy costs are passed on to retireees (in this case overrides and bonues are reduced)
4. new employees are not given the same incentives the old ones had

All of these scenarios are less than ideal for the Primerica agents, new and old.

5. Citigroup’s relation to Primerica: While the merger of Citicorp and Travelers was big news in 1998, the situation today is much different. Sandy Weill is gone and Ann Jordan retired from Citigroup’s board in April, 2006. Both were important supporters for Primerica.

Since then, Charles Prince, current Chairman and CEO, has changed the vision and structure of Citigroup by selling Travelers and its Asset Management Business (includes Smith Barney Mutual Funds). Citigroup’s Annual Report for 2006 annual report does not paint the picture for a giant integrated financial services company. In fact, it is hard to find Primerica mentioned except in reports and in generalities.

Further looking at excerpts from Citigroup’s 2006 Annual Report, Primerica contributed 1% growth in 2005 and 4% in 2006. Primerica’s meager growth in net income makes it prime for the next piece to go. Finding someone to buy it may be an issue. Even if that doesn’t happen, what is the long-term security of promised overrides and bonuses?

6. Primerica’s Exaggerations (really a personal and corporate integrity issue):
a. Success is available to all. Primerica spends a great deal of time and money promoting itself to its agents through TV, internet, conferences, CDs, schools, meetings and literature. The constant theme: Primerica has the best products, best solutions, best compensation, best system, best incentives and all you have to do is work hard. However, in all of the hundreds and hundreds of hours I spent listening, the whole success story was never explained. Of course it can’t be which is why the internet is full of sour stories.

What are the odds? When I left 65 people had at one time elipsed 12 month running cash flow of $1M. 65 divided by (30 years X 12 months X 15,000 recruits/month) = .0012 %, or 99.88% chance of not becoming a million dollar earner. If you want to lower the bar to $250,000/ year the odds would still be greater than 99% fail rate. I know of no sane person who would take those odds while at the same time being told to quit their job, work late nights, recruit everyone, and attend every meeting all with the sole focus of selling more non-competitive products. Selling a false hope hurts individuals and the country by just making everyone more skeptical.

b. Best Products. Stepping outside of the Primerica environment is an eye opener because of the vast array of competitive products available for clients. Just imagine if you could offer your clients the best product for their situation, regardless of who carried it?

However, the company mantra which is continually reiterated by the senior leaders is: Primerica has the best products, hands down. This simply isn’t true and any experienced Primerica agent knows this. I once asked the CEO of Primerica at dinner why we didn’t have a certain product. His reply was, “We have to give our agents nerf balls, not scissors.” In other words keep products simple so we don’t hurt the agents or the clients. Nerf balls can’t equate to best products, you’re lying to yourself and your clients if you think so.

c. Jobs are bad. Here is one I really don’t get. Having first hand experience of quitting myself and helping others to quit I would definitely not reinforce the company philosophy that JOBS are bad. Given the odds of any one person succeeding (less than 99.8%), the company is hurting many decent people and making them feel guilty for not “firing their boss”.

What is wrong with people keeping some steady income with a job they need or love while working part-time in financial services? If the opportunity is so good, people will realize it and quit their job on their own. The real kicker, the real hypocracy is when the CEO of the company frequently bad-mouths JOBs yet has one himself. In fact, if the opportunity is so great, the entire senior leadership should be licensed agents or else they don’t really believe 

d. Everyone else in the industry is a crook. I was trained in Primerica to believe all other companies, agents and products were bad and Primerica was the only company who did the right thing for the consumer. When I left, I remembered what I already knew– most of the “enemy” happens to care about their clients and provide an even more professional service because of the products, tools and training they have. A huge weigh was lifted off my shoulders once I didn’t have to think everyone else was evil, they were just with a different company. Isn’t there enough hate in the world?

e. Everyone who isn’t one of “us” is unintelligent or a loser. Along the same lines as other agents, I was taught to categorize those who didn’t join, weren’t successful or who quit as: losers, quitters, people who were lazy, who couldn’t handle rejection, didn’t have goals, weren’t willing to sacrifice, would let their family down, … Again, assuming you have been around you know how important it is to discredit the person, not the system. The hard part is when your best person quits—how do you explain that to the rest of your group. Maybe you tell clients and agents they are “sick”. Isn’t there enough lying in the world?

f. You own your business. Not true. Primerica’s contract, the one you sign to join the company says that if you leave, the people you recruited and the clients you have are theirs. They do have a system where you can qualify, own and sell your code number, but that is different. Again, the whole truth would be a more ethical way of dealing with people.

by: The Financial Blogger | October 24th, 2007 (11:44 pm)

Larry, I am really glad that you shared your experience with Primerica. It seems that I am not in the left field with my conclusion even though I never worked for them. Like I said, I am not saying that the company is bad, but the real way of making money out of it must be clear and explain upfront.

Unfortunately, it is easy to impress people with dreams. Who would not like to start working late, finish early and have their Friday off so they can play with their kids? Who would not like to make even more money while they are not working or on vacation than when they actually work? Seriously, it is everybody’s dream. But a dream remains a dream until it becomes reality. Stop the show and be honest with people. This is what I have to say to Primerica. The risk of surviving the first year as an agent/advisor/consultant is minimal, let’s face it.

Anyway, a big thank to you and your story. Comments are what makes a blog unique and you definitely contributed to mine today!



I see that you have correctly idenified the main problem facing Primerica today: The Internet.

The mantra they esposued of being the only company championing the fnancial well being of middle income America by delivering the most inexpensive term insurance, was just patently false.

However, it took the compiling of various company term rates into an accessible data base to show that there were some 800 companies with a more inexpensive term insurance. Of course, when you have to pay out 13 levels of compensation, your product must be expensive.

Now,some people are still buying from Primerica but two months later when they decide to go on line and see if they got a good deal, they find out they could have gotten twice as much insurance for the same money.

The quote system they are looking at even allows for the downloading of a life application that the client can fill out themselves and mail in.

The first time the Primerica agent knows his case has been replaced is when he has a chargeback. Clients don’t have to do replacement notices, so the agent was not aware of what was happening.

Quite naturally, even if he was, how do you conserve a case where your company was charging twice as much for insurance than the client has now found on their own…and at 1/2 the price.?

Primerica’s term insurance business is done.

But the real money that was made by the top people in Primerica was not in selling insurance, it was in the fast start school business.

Every six weeks was a new fast start school at some location far enough away where everyone was told they had to stay at a hotel for two nights.

Everyone was supposed to show support and was told not to be staying 6 to a room because that was showing people you were not making money.

The NSD reserved 200 rooms in a hotel and then had his leaders commit to taking so many rooms. They in turn had their downline take rooms. The downline were being charged nearly double what the room actually cost.

The NSD’s girl in the office collected everyone’s money in advance, then the NSD paid for the rooms on his credit card, pocketed the money he collected and wrote off the rooms on his business tax return.

Outright fraud and tax evasion. Plain and simple.

Then to boot they charged people $5 a day to get into the ballroom to hear the great speakers. This was, of course, to pay for the cost of the ballroom.

Just a note to the unknowing, when you take 200 rooms at a hotel…they GIVE you the ballroom!

So, an NSD could pocket approximately $15,000 on one of these two day affairs.

How do I know this? I know the man who started the scam. The late, Joe Ensor.

The interesting part is that I have never had an NSD or anyone from Primerica refute me on this matter.

I have no axe to grind with Primerica nor do I sell term insurance. I am just stating that Primerica’s term isurance machine is in a downward spiral and it can never recover.

NSD’s or what whatever the new term is, perhaps, Intergallactic Exalted Senior NSD’s could care less if no nsurance is being sold,…just keep the fast start schools going and everything will be alright.

Larry, Mike (Financial Blogger)and Dr. John Maguire Phd(Ooo),

First off. Let me start by saying, I rarely respond to stupid blogs because you never win battles with people that just like to criticize other people for trying to succeed in something. Fact is, that most people that blog against Primerica are usually other company agents that sell other financial products even though they say they are not or try to say they’ve tried Primerica and they really didn’t.

I do not intend to bash financial blogger even though it will very much look like that specifically and purposefully.

No one is guaranteed to make it in Primerica because no one coming in can guarantees they will work.

2nd of all Mr. phd guy. You should be ashamed of talking about a guy that died already. Like Joe Ensor. The ridiculous and absurd remarks that you know of him to make money as much as $15,000 per fast start school, how stupid can you be. You only say this of him because he is not alive to kick your anatomy all over the place.
If your so concerned with people getting scammed or people doing fraud or tax evasion, why didn’t you turn the company into the authorities Dr. Dolittle or is it Dr. DoNothing but just let me save the world by blogging. Cute.
It is illegal in our company to make any money off of agents by selling anything else but financial products that this company sells.
And the idea that every hotel will give you a free ballroom just like that is crazy. It might be true if the certain area was dead, meaning not sold out. But that is not the case everytime.
By the way I’m sure your a Dr. because you got a free education right? It didn’t cost you a penny right? If you did get it free it’s possible your a freeloader and possibly joined Primerica and wondered why they wouldn’t pay you just for having a phd or add or whatever same thing but couldn’t hack it because you didn’t have the courage to be somebody in your life, you schmuck. And that is not Primerica talk, thats Life talk. It costs money to own and start a business. But freeloaders would not understand this.
None of the blogs is true and the only person that would listen to all of you would be people like you. Sour!
You bash Primerica because only few people make it, You BIG DUMMIES,where you’ve been living all these years, in a cave? Every organization that grows will have a small percentage only making it. Not because everybody can’t make it, but because only a few of every organization will do it. Its called the thinning of the ranks. Let me name you a few of the institutions: High schools, Colleges, Professional Sports, The U.S. Military, Churches. Tell us Messrs. and Drs. of nothingand confusers of this world. Does everyone graduate high school and college with a degree (Mmm… do those numbers? That would mean the U.S. school systems would be a scam based on your theory). So does that mean Dr. your a Intergallactic Exalted Senior Phd because theres only a few of you? Is every athlete that ever played competitive sports make it to the Pro’s or the Olympics?( How about those numbers?) Is everyone that ever joined the military make to a 3-5 star general?(Try those numbers) Or you want a better one for all of you. Is everyone that goes or has ever gone to church, go to Heaven?(Do the those numbers if you dare, because chances are, you are probably one of them that will not go.) I will not continue to scare you. If we base numbers on your stupid theory then the U.S. is a scam because I heard the other day on the radio that less than 2% of the population make less than $100,000. And since you don’t belive in those numbers you should go out of this country because none of you would be part of that, huh? And by the way I believe every organization should be that way including the USA. Otherwise we would have people like you that want something for nothing in charge and we would not have the free enterprise system. Thank God Primerica Works the same way and it repels uncourageous people like you. But don’t worry because the same system needing doer’s also needs the fans, cheerleaders, and critics alike. There is so much more but it would only sound like blah, blah, blah to your ears.

I probably will not respond again, because while you guys continue to go to schools to get more degrees to impress the world and blogging, I have to go to work trying to change my families future the world in a positive way,

Yes a proud RVP of Primerica that had his family changed forever!!

[…] Paradox Part 1, part 2, part 3 and the final conclusion on Primerica with part […]

Just wondering how it was over looked that the majority of middle and low income earners that are not financially savvy ever consider sitting down with someone whom is to figure out a solid plan?
I have read the entire blog and I could go either way. I am savvy enough to know about insurance, mortgages and mutual funds. Not that I am rich, far from it. I served in the military and it does not pay a great deal. The point I would like to make? I see enough here to believe Primerica in general is taking care of their clients and of course, the company. What business is out there not to make a buck.
What I read is the legit people in this company are helping those that need it the most while making a fair living.
I do not work for Primerica but I intent to check it out. Maybe my service in this company would be better appreciated than being a teacher. The parent, kids and society in general has no respect for teachers so maybe it will be a step up.

Well said John and we’re all Proud of you for your services in protecting your country and people! Good luck in your PFS career and like in the army..NEVER GIVE UP!

God Bless!

Brainless Mike or Larry whatebver your name is.
I just saw this entry almost a year later. Please don’t embarass yourself any further in a public forum with your writing.

You mention bashing Joe Ensor.

I grew up with Joe and he was my friend for 40 years but that does not change what he did.

It was entertaining to hear about him getting over on people…well..just like you, who bought into the nonsense

Joe never hustled me, so I have no axe to grind. And as far as knowing your company, my brother was one of the first NSD’s.

But again, do something wirthy of your skills…Wendy’s…collecting the carts at a supermarket etc.

by: Aaron R. | July 16th, 2010 (1:08 pm)

I’ve been in the financial services business for 8 years and have to agree that Primerica is an evil empire. While they do help people creat a somewhat decent financial plan, they then implement it with downright terrible products. The products are not competitive and anyone who has spent time in the industry can tell you that. They have one of the lowest retention ratios in the business. If you round at all essentially turnover as many people as they recruit. This is a sinking business model. At the rate they churn people over eventually that reputation will catch up and the company will sink. I would give them 10-15 years left. If you work for PFS, WAKE UP!!! You could be helping people create solid financial futures with good products, you could own your own business, you could do so much better. How can you seriously recruit somebody to a business where they are statistically guaranteed to fail. Would you tell a guy whose batting average is .020 to quit his job and try out for the major leagues. He’s got the same percent chance of being successful! Statistically none! It’s sickening and appalling and Primerica also does harm by replacing other solid finanical planning that was done with good products and good plans in place. I enjoy working with many of my colleagues or competitors in my industry, but I can’t stand the wrecklessness of the company or it’s ill advised sales force. I know in my heart I am 100% on point.

Obviously I can’t share private information of another
in a public forum but I can share experience. I’ve been with
Primerica for less than 6 days. I have a personal insurance
portfolio of over $7,000 a year. I sat with a Primerica team mate
(upline obviously) from 9pm until 1:45am (both parties not inconvienienced
by this) and having the payouts, fna, company offerings, and so forth
explained. We came to understand that I could Personally save $1,890 annually
with Primerica products while in the process expanding my life insurance coverage
3 fold. If this is a scam, tell me where I’m losing or being stolen from. The upline team
member who was with me until past 1:00am even refused to set the sale in
motion because I am scheduled to take (and hopefully pass) my Life insurance and accident/health exam next thursday, which would entitle me to make a commision
on my own policy. She could have made roughly $3,000 off of my policy after sitting with me for 4 hours. What scam do you speak of? Facts please, keep the name calling
and finger pointing for children, let us be adult and conduct our selves in a scientific and factual manor, lest we digress and retire to a neccessity for brutish cro-magnon tactics and offish slander.

by: Answer this | August 14th, 2010 (10:24 am)

You say you are expanding your coverage 3 fold so I’m assuming your replacing a CV product with a term. Go to http://www.term4sale.com and do some comparisons with whatever rate class you were quoted. Just remember different carriers do rate differently.

Now as far as waiting to start your program thinking of your family first God forbid what if something happens? If you feel the need for the coverage why not just go ahead with it? Unless there’s been a change I didn’t know RVP’s allowed new people to submit a policy on them self.

Feel free to post your age, face amount and term length, rate class and if your in the US or Canada..I’m sure someone will step up and offer suggestions.

If you are going to try and help people, teach them to help themselves. Don’t hide all the facts behind a simple price. We don’t buy the cheapest ore we all would be driving Yugos.

Go check out the price of term on line. You may find something cheaper. One can always find something cheaper online. But remember the saying you get what you pay for.

While comparing the price compare what happens when the term ends. Can you convert it? Yes you can convert it to Whole Life, Universal Life, Variable UL or a host of other Cash value policies. Which also entails a premium increase. Or you can invest into another term policy and go through the medical and and see if you can qualify again.

Then compare Primerica and get a term policy which when it ends, converts to a new term policy if you still need it and you don’t even need to re-qualify, Renewal rate will increase because of age but all life will do that and Primerica will be significantly cheaper. If you don’t this, get a renewal quote from any insurance agent, if they will give you one and then ask a Primerica agent, which will give you a quote in a heartbeat.

Now that you have all the information compare it. Then decide which is more important cheap or quality.

by: Kevin Larson | April 13th, 2011 (11:01 pm)

Well, this is an interesting page to come across.

Let’s try a Q & A from someone who just wants to tell it like it is.

I’ve been with Primerica for over 3 years. For all people who are ‘writing’ something that’s negative and at least partially falsified on the internet, thank you. If one of my prospects were to read your anonymous (fake name or no name) source stuff and allow that to negatively influence their decision, I wouldn’t want them as a client or recruit anyway. In other words, thank you for inventing a necessary filter. For people ‘reading’ that stuff, try not to use negative blogs and comments (before the internet was invented, I believe that stuff was known as ‘common gossip’) as convenient justification for deciding against it when there’s at least one underlying concern (the true reason) that you have about the company.

Question: Is Primerica a pyramid scheme?
Answer: no
Pyramid companies are illegal. All of them. Pyramids do not trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Here’s just one link listing the companies that are investing in us. One of the companies/organizations is CPP (Canada Pension Plan). Do you know that you will probably be receiving payment one day from an organization that partially earns its money by investing in a so called pyramid scheme? If you won’t try Primerica, you may be able to thrive a different way. Go to those companies including CPP and make them aware that this is a pyramid scheme or just a plain sketchy company. They may put you on a pedestal for informing them of something that they were unable to discover on their own. For example, “Wow. With all the thorough and extensive research that we did including hiring a team of lawyers to check the company inside and out, all we had to do was type Primerica into Google?!”.
http://www.dailyfinance.com/company/primerica-inc-common-stock/pri/nys/institutional-ownership (not a blogging site)

Question: Does Primerica have a Network Marketing component?
Answer: absolutely

Question: What are the consequences of Primerica using a network marketing setup?
Answer: approximately 6,000,000 clients who own a good, wholesome Primerica product(s), just to mention one positive achievement, and several negative and falsified comments. If you don’t believe yet that our products are good and wholesome, find out. Example: ask our clients.

Question: Why is there negativity on Primerica?
Answer (most common): Is Primerica a non-mainstream company? Answer: Yes. ‘Non-mainstream’ can be like a playground for skeptics and naysayers, can’t it? Analogy: If you stick your head high enough above the crowd, you’re going to have certain people throwing rotten tomatoes and cabbage at your face, won’t you?

Question: Who are the negative and/or falsified comments contributors?
1. Competitors in disguise. Like Coca-cola doesn’t say nice things about Pepsi, Microsoft throws dirt at Apple, Air Canada tries to put Westjet out of business, etc.

2. People who join Primerica, don’t pull their weight or do the right things, fail out as a result, and always like to believe that it wasn’t their fault. It would be like getting a membership at a gym, showing up regularly, and doing ‘whatever’ while you were there, and feeling like you fully fulfilled your role for getting fit the way you want to get fit. Then you write a blog on the internet stating that the gym sucks and the gym is a scam because your body looks the way that it does. Try convincing people at the gym who are in great shape that you failed because of the gym system itself (i.e. the equipment could’ve been better, the equipment could’ve been arranged differently, the woman working at the front counter had bad people skills, the air conditioning wasn’t the best, they could’ve phoned to motivate me when I didn’t show up, …).

3) Skeptics and naysayers as described above. They’re entitled.

4) Less common than the first 3, but someone who actually does have a valid complaint or criticism. Are they’re dumb people in Primerica? Answer: Yes. There’s dumb people in everything. We apologize if you came across a bad apple. We try to filter out people like that quickly but unfortunately there’s no instrument to detect that up front for all of them. If Joe Blow was the bad apple, I would like to apologize for him. Of course, I’m not Joe Blow. I’m not Primerica. I’m Kevin Larson.

Question: I understand that negative comments on the internet can be bogus but there seems to be a lot of it for this company. How do you explain many people having the same lie/exaggeration?
Answer: So there’s a lot negative comments? Did it start that way? For example, if you were to write a comment on the internet (positive or negative) about Primerica and you saw 2, 3, or 5 negative comments that were already there, would it be easier to write something positive or negative? It just takes a few to start a ‘follow the leader’ game, doesn’t it?
Let’s say I were to write 2 comments as blogs on the internet about you or your company. One comment is totally positive and totally factual. The other comment is totally negative and totally falsified. Which of the 2 would I have an easier time getting away with? That’s right, ‘equal’ as long as the negative comment doesn’t have grounds for a lawsuit. If Giavano Apostolopoulos were to write a comment about Primerica, wouldn’t you also want to google: Giavano Apostolopoulos? Oh right, you can’t. It’s conveniently an anonymous source (fake name or no name). You may also want to google something like: accuracy of internet blogs. How would a professor react when you tell him that your research paper sourced internet blogs only? Are you laughing with me right now?

Question: Does Primerica have shortcomings?
Answer: Of course. Find me a company to work for/with that’s without shortcomings and you might just be able to recruit me out of Primerica. There’s thorns on every rose. Thanks to the founder of the company among other people, the potential shortcomings, that could exist in any company, have been minimized.

Let’s do a google exercise right now.

Google: “primerica scam”
Result: 20,100 results (in small print below the Search bar)

Google: “microsoft scam”
Result: 29,800 results

Google: “coca-cola scam”
Result: 37,900 results

Google: “royal bank scam”
Result: 56,900 results

Of course, the numbers shown can fluctuate but that’s exactly what I got after doing the exercise on April 10, 2011.

Google: most evil corporations
Click on the ‘The 14 Most Evil Corporations (according to Global Exchange)’ link. Chevron, Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company, etc., qualify. Primerica is an amateur then.

If you have comments or criticisms, let me know: kevinlarson45@yahoo.com. Please don’t send me an email just to vent and feel like you’re right. I’m looking to have a productive conversation where I may be able to show you where you may have misunderstood and vice versa.

by: Kevin Larson | April 25th, 2011 (11:01 pm)

Once upon a time,

someone thinks:

I need to do my research on Primerica to make sure itâ??s ok, legitimate, fulfill my curiosity, etc. But how?

Should I just type Primerica into google? Letâ??s see what comes up.. 1. good, 2. good, 3. good, 4. good, 5. good, 6. Is Primerica a scam? â?? Techvibes.com

and think â??OH MY GOD! The s*** word thatâ??s obviously the end all and be all! Letâ??s believe it and run with it! Hey, do you (friends, family, professors, and professional people in the industry) know that I discovered that Primerica is a s*** from my research today? Iâ??m out!â??,


Should I try something like:

http://www.dailyfinance.com/company/primerica-inc-common-stock/pri/nys/institutional-ownership (Primerica is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with CPP (Canada Pension Plan) as one of the top holders),
http://www.bbb.org/ottawa/business-reviews/financial-services/primerica-financial-services-in-nepean-on-5137?code (Accredited with the BBB with an A+ rating),
http://www.investmentexecutive.com/client/en/News/DetailNews.asp?id=57201&pg=1&IdSection=22&IdPub=209 (Primerica is number 1 amongst its peers!),
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/A.M.+Best+Assig%20â?¦%20fâ?¦-a088999923 (an A+ rating from the A.M. Best Co.),
http://www.pr-inside.com/primerica-completes-national-ethics-qualification-r1797274.htm (Primerica completes the National Ethics Qualification with the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association)
http://www.thestreet.com/story/10503052/1/the â?¦ -companies.html (among the top 22 strongest life insurance companies),
etc., etc., etc.,

and think â??if itâ??s a scam, itâ??s seems to be the most wholesome one? Hmmmâ?¦. a scam thatâ??s totally legal, pays well if you do the right work, and distributes good wholesome financial products (about 6,000,000 clients so far)? Thereâ??s really nothing to hold me back now, other than my fears and personal disbeliefs, is there?â??.

Truth be told. If you have negative attitudes towards non-mainstream opportunities, doubts that you can do this, and fear failure or what others will think of you, youâ??ll gravitate to the first research (?) method as youâ??re looking for convenient justification.

If you are doing actual â??researchâ?? and arenâ??t lazy about it, the 2nd method is your choice.

I donâ??t feel that thereâ??s anything wrong with having fears, self doubts, skepticism, and some negativity. We all do. Iâ??m just saying that your research method says a lot about your honesty with yourself.

by: helpafamily | May 21st, 2011 (2:36 pm)

Primerica’s business model is a combination of the network marketing structure, the agency structure, and franchising. If you’re asking yourself, “is there $$ to be made in Primerica?”,

click on the link and see how Primerica compares to the other top 68 companies that use network marketing:


Primerica is ranked #6 in terms of Wholesale Corporate Revenue. However, if you divide the wholesale corporate revenue number by the number of disbributors, that’s $22,000 per distributor for Primerica ($2.2 billion divided by 100,000 distributors).

Try comparing that number to all the others. Avon, for example, which is #1 in terms of Wholesale Corporate Revenue has $1845 per distributor. A distributor is someone who sells the product or service. The point that’s being made is the high money making potential for an individual in Primerica compared to the other companies.

If you dislike Primerica for whatever reason and live in Canada, you may want to outright refuse Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits at retirement. CPP is one of the top 10 holders in Primerica stock with over $25 million in shares. You may not be able to handle the thought of receiving income that’s partially linked to Primerica profit. Click on:

Primerica is a scam–I lost over $500 to these people when considering the application, convention, and monthly fees.

they take your application fee and want you to call your friends and family and they get paid if anyone buys since you re not even licensed yet. Then, they give you no training on finding clients beyond your closest friends because they know most people will quit and all they care about is milking you for referals by feeding you with the non-sense of becoming wealthy through the company.

recruiting is nearly impossible because unlike 30 years ago, people find out from the internet that its just an MLM company and you won’t make money unless your at the top.

Its interesting that they tell you to avoid telling your friends and family the name of the company until your face-to-face in an interview. This goes to show how bad the company is perceived and they depend on brainwashing people because the truth gets out fast in the information age.

The people at the top of the pyramid make money but if your not there now, you will never be.

Just go to sites like term4sale.com and you will see that other life insurance companies have rates that are 10-50% less expensive than Primerica. Did I mention that the 35 year term policy isn’t guaranteed past the first 20 years? Hmmm, they tell their clients to “buy term and invest the difference” but what difference is there when Primerica insurance is way more expensive? They employ captive gents which means they can’t shop around and look for what’s best for the clients.

ALL of their mutual funds are load funds. So much for helping middle America. People that are duped into buying Primerica products could buy term life for much less with other companies through non-captive agents and the hundreds less per yer could then be put into mutual funds with lower fees and this could potentially mean tens of thousand of dollars or even hundreds of thousands more for the client in the long run.

And for those of you that think its actually owning your own business, just check the fine print in the IBA supplement and the advertising handbook. You don’t even own your book of business and there is a 2 year non competition clause if you decide to go independent. You cannot have your own independent website because the company wants to control all content.

For anyone considering a career in finance, go independent. There, you truly own your own book of business, can shop round and you can always recruit other agents to get the overrides without your prospective recruits thinking its a pyramid scheme like most of the population today thinks of Primerica.

The declining numbers of the salesforce since 2008 tell the tale, as Primerica as been exposed as not ” selling the chepest term insurance for middle income America. ”

The Internet is their downfall because people can find 600 companies with a less costly term policy.

They pay 13 levels down in commission structure and a company selling term online pays ZERO commissions. Thus, they deliver a cheaper product.

The same is happening to Allstate, as people buy car insurance from Geico and Progressive. Neither the lizard or Flo receive a commission.

Allstate is systematically terminating their sales force, acquiring their book of business and will run it from a call center in Northbrook, Illinois. They also just spent $1billion to buy e-surance.com.

They are down from 14,000 agents in 2008 to 9,100. By 2015 they will all be gone and State Farm is in the same quandary.

And when Primerica institutes their e-surance platform and people buy online, with zero commission payout, why would they want to keep agents for?

Primerica to continue needs to cut the cost of their product to compete with the online companies.

And they only way to compete is have a no commission product.

But most of the Primerica people will follow blindly along because someone in the company told them they will never be terminated.

Actually what Primerica says about the banks is true. The banks will pay someone with a standard savings account about 2.5 % interest. The banks make their money off of your interest that you should have because the banks actually can afford to pay you more than 2.5% measly interest. They just aren’t because they are turning a profit off of the rest. so you may be getting that 2.5% interest, but they are getting the rest of the 9% interest.

Now with Primerica they actually do pay 12% interest. I know this for a fact because that is my current interest return with Primerica. My funds have been doing quite well and I would not dream of going to a bank.

To make sure I was in the right place, I shopped around and the highest elsewhere was 9% interest….so I thought 12% was better.

I hope I could explain this clearly anyway

On another note, some may wonder why Primerica doesn’t advertise and only does word of mouth, this is because to advertise it takes $$$. And other companies that do advertise, a very small chunk comes out of your money. Primerica doesn’t take the clients money to advertise. I feel that is very honorable.

I am not interested in working as a primerica agent, but I do enjoy the products.

The Financial Blogger may actually want to do more research before he just comes to faulty conclusions.

Let me tell you why price is NOT always a good selling point. Back in 1987, an ALW rep sat down with me at the kitchen table and explained a lot of sensible financial concepts, one of which was Buy Term and Invest the Difference. A month prior to this meeting, a NY Life agent came to my apartment and tried very hard to sell me an expensive whole life with elaborate print-outs. He did not teach me anything of substance regarding money. I did not know much about life insurance except for the fact that if I kick the bucket, my folks will have the money to bury me. So, I asked for that and there was not much interest showing me term. I simply told the man I am not buying something I don’t understand.

The ALW rep told me that theirs was not the cheapest but they give their clients value, which is investing in a better yielding investment separately from a policy. I opened up an IRA and UGMA for my son invested in a Growth Mutual Fund. When Coverdell ESA – Educational Savings Account became available, I started that too in addition to my son’s education fund from UGMA. Fast forward to 2012, my IRA is valued today at more than $200,000 (even with the economic downturn). My son’s college tuition all come from Coverdell ESA. We haven’t even touched the UGMA yet for educ expenses.

Ok, naysayers. Do you have a story to tell like mine? I have the facts and numbers to show and been around quite a while to see the money grow. So talk about a REAL DEAL.

By the way, when I talked with this so-called ragtime army of confused, unknowledgeable, untrained, unsophisticated ALW beings, I was a new immigrant in this wonderful country. What a blessing to have met this person. Thank you ALW a.k.a. Primerica. Keep up the good work.

I’m not in Primerica, never have been and never will–I just happen to know of its history and it’s business model. ALW/Primerica IS NOT a scam nor is any other company in the recruiting business unless it is merely for the movement of money to the people higher up without any legitimate products or services in exchanged. For the record, what AL Williams did in its time was truly revolutionary. Buying Term and investing the difference WAS the best method of getting protection and saving up for retirement during its time in the late 70’s on through the 80’s. Those who followed through with ALW/Primerica’s plan of buying term and investing the difference are seeing the results today.

But times have changed. The market has changed. Tax rates are different. Products have changed. ALW/Primerica are against cash value policies, calling them “trash value” and to an extent that’s true: traditional whole life policies gave you only the death benefit or the cash value. But like I said, times have changed. There’s better life insurance products out there nowadays where you can have both the death protection AND the cash value.

Is it really in your best interest to “invest” for your retirement in a “tax qualified plan” where you’ll be taxed when you retire? Just some rough figures for you: during the 70’s on to the 80’s tax rates were up there in the 60+%. It WAS a great choice to invest your pretaxed dollars away into a mutual fund where it grew tax free until you retire, where hopefully tax rates dropped below 60%. Today taxes are nearing 40% but still far less than 60%. With the US debt the way it is today, are taxes likely to stay around/drop below 40% another 20-30 years from now or is it more likely to be above 40%?

Now why is taxes important in regards to Primerica? Because if today you’re following the Primerica concept, you *may* end up with no protection 30 years from now with insufficient funds to retire on due to most of your *investment* going to taxes. Let’s not even talk about if you need long term care or if the market ever takes a plunge.

But what do I know… Talk to your local Primerica representative about these issues and ask if he/she can provide you a safeguard to taxes, market volatility and long term care.

I do not know what the nay Sayers are about and I am happy I saw a Primerica agent. it is true u can get cheaper term however the term I bought will pay me 70 percent of the face value if I am diagnosed with a terminal illness, if I become disabled and cannot work the premium is also waived, the face value can increase by 10% a year with only a minimal increase in premium (keeping pace with inflation) and finally Primerica pay 92% of death claims within 2 weeks. I dare these negative entitlement mined blogger to get one of those so call term sellers to add all those benefits on and see what they really cost then compare apples with apples. finally after consolidating my debt I have an extra 400 to invest that I never knew I had before. Yes the funds are load funds but when the bank gives you 2.5 percent after earning 12% or more I would happily prefer to earn 10% and have Primerica keep 2% rather than allow the bank to keep 8.5% so who is really giving us the $%^ loade of S%$t? I do not know what your beef is but u need to go back to school to learn how to make effective financial comparisons instead of running your type without exploring both sides of the coin. I am now more comfortable than I ever have been and I am on the road to be truly free of my debt.