July 10, 2008, 6:00 am

What About Mutual Funds at Primerica?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Primerica Series
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For those who know my blog for a while, you know that I am not a big fan of Primerica and its pyramidal structure. For those who are new to this blog, I invite you to visit my Primerica Series including the way Primerica agent approach people and my 2 parts conclusion on the final question: Should I join Primerica and why?. However, I have to admit that I never took the time to look at all their products.

To be honest, I am not really interested in their term life insurance product as they are similar to any other insurance company. They might have been one of the very first companies to sell term insurance back in the day but these days are over. Every insurance agent I have met in my life (working for several different companies) told me the same thing: we are there for our client and we will offer them the insurance product to cover their needs. So, guided with the light of one of the numerous commentators on my Primerica analysis, I decided to look into their mutual funds.

Therefore, my post is more focused on the Primerica Concert series offering diversified portfolios according to your investment profile.

According to Morning Star, they rate the aggressive growth, the growth and the moderate growth with a 5 stars score. The three of them offer double digit returns over 5 years (and over 3 years for the aggressive and growth portfolio). However, those funds are not for soft hearted as they all show negative double digit returns at one point in time as well. So if you like trashing with your investment as you were at a Marilyn Manson concert, you might enjoy the ride J Nonetheless, they are qualified in the 1st quartile most of the time and their Morning Star rate is quite good.

The Primerica Concert series seems to be an all-inclusive option for investors. These portfolios offer a great asset allocation between fixed income, cash, Canadian equities, American equities and International equities. On the other side, they are a bit too much concentrated in Canadian stocks to be considered a fully diversified fund. For example, the aggressive portfolio has a concentration of 46% in the Canadian market. So this diversification will help smoother the volatility but is not optimal.

Another thing caught my attention when I was digging further; the performance over 10 years. When I attempted to a Primerica meeting, they were mentioning double digit returns to make the financial projection. I guess they were referring to their Concert series. However, their 10 years performances are showing returns of 6% for the three categories of funds. So would you really like ending some years at -20% knowing that you will end-up with a small 6% overall returns? I have to mention that their MER’s of 2.5% are pretty high and certainly don’t help to show some good long term results!

In the end, I think that the Concert Series are still good mutual fund. They obviously outperform their category with a high percentage in Canadian equity. On the other side, their long term stats and MER’s don’t make me a huge fan of them either.

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What about Primerica Common Sense Seg Funds? What do you have to say about these?

Primerica Common Sense: Asset Builder II

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total %
2008 0 0.1 0 0 —
2007 1.1 1.1 1.9 0 4.1
2006 4.2 -3.2 4.5 5.3 10.8
2005 2 3.7 5.7 2.3 13.7
2004 4.4 -1.1 1.5 5.1 9.9
2003 -4 9.4 2.8 7.1 15.3
2002 1.4 -5.4 -5.2 3.2 -6
2001 -5.8 0.6 -2.4 6.2 -1.4
2000 1.5 6.8 5.9 0 14.2
1999 -0.6 -0.3 -5 2.4 -3.5
1998 6.5 1.6 -8.9 9.6 8.8
1997 2.5 8.9 8.6 4.6 24.6
1996 -0.3 4.1 4.4 12.3 20.5
1995 4.2 4 2.3 3.6 14.1
1994 0 -1.8 4.6 0.8 3.6

Primerica Common Sense: Asset Builder III

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total %
2008 -1.6 0.7 0 0 —
2007 1.1 1.6 1.6 0.2 4.5
2006 5.1 -4.2 5.5 6.6 13
2005 2.9 4 7.9 3.6 18.4
2004 4.4 -0.6 1.5 5.8 11.1
2003 -4.5 10.7 3.4 8.5 18.1
2002 1.7 -6.5 -7.5 3.6 -8.7
2001 -7.1 1.1 -3.8 7.7 -2.1
2000 1.8 7.1 6.4 -0.8 14.5
1999 -0.5 0 -5.8 3.9 -2.4
1998 6.9 2 -11.5 11.5 8.9
1997 3.2 9.7 8.8 4.9 26.6
1996 0.3 4.9 4.1 12.8 22.1
1995 3.6 3.4 2.2 3.2 12.4
1994 0 -2 4.7 0.8 3.5

Primerica Common Sense: Asset Builder IV
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total
2008 -2.4 0.8 0 0
2007 1.1 2 1.5 0 4.6
2006 5.5 -4.5 5.8 7.4 14.2
2005 2.7 4.1 8.4 3.9 19.1
2004 4.3 -0.6 1.3 6.1 11.1
2003 -4.4 10.8 3.2 8.7 18.3
2002 1.4 -6.8 -7.8 3.7 -9.5
2001 -7.2 1.2 -4.2 8 -2.2
2000 0.8 8 6.7 -1.2 14.3
1999 -0.5 0.7 -5.8 4.9 -0.7
1998 7.2 1.7 -13.2 12.5 8.2
1997 3.6 9.6 8.5 4.4 26.1
1996 0.5 5 3.9 13 22.4
1995 3.4 3 2.2 2.7 11.3
1994 0 -1.1 4.4 0.7 4

Primerica Common Sense: Asset Builder V

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total
2008 -2.7 —
2007 1.2 2.3 1.4 -0.2 4.7
2006 5.9 -4.4 5.4 7.7 14.6
2005 2.8 3.8 8.7 3.7 19
2004 4.5 -0.3 1.2 6.1 11.5
2003 -4.5 10.9 3.2 9 18.6
2002 1.5 -6.8 -7.7 3.7 -9.3
2001 -7.3 1.1 -4 7.7 -2.5
2000 0.3 8.3 6.8 -1.5 13.9
1999 -0.4 1.1 -5.8 5.5 0.4
1998 7.1 1.4 -13.9 13 7.6
1997 3.6 10.2 8.5 4.1 26.4
1996 0.6 5 3.8 12.8 22.2
1995 3.7 3.3 2.2 3 12.2
1994 0 -0.9 3.9 0.4 3.4

*Data delivered straight from Morningstar.ca.
If you calculate the average total return (since each of these funds began), you will see that they ALL have of them have 10% rates of return. Not only that, but these seg funds have a GUARANTEE!! When you invest in Primerica Common Sense funds, when your investment matures, you are guaranteed to get back 75% of what you put into it. so there’s virtually no risk of loosing your nest egg.

Come on people… Primerica is CLEARLY the real deal. It truly is the ONLY company that is teaching the average person how to retire wealthy, get out debt, and have the right type of insurance (not mortgage insurance, not whole life or U/L).

by: The Financial Blogger | July 10th, 2008 (1:25 pm)

Those funds seem pretty solid to me because
#1 they are SEG funds and their capital is guaranteed (75% in this case I presume)
#2 they exist for more than 10 years and saw more than 1 economy cycle
#3 their average returns seems pretty good, especially for Seg funds
#4 the fluctuation is not too bad as well.

Thx for bringing these funds up 🙂

As for your last comment where Primerica is the only company making their client wealthy and getting them out of debt, I would just ask you how come they don’t own 90% of the insurance, investment and credit market? Come one, they are not the only one 😉

lol. Because we’ve only been in business for 30 years! (20 in Canada) The insurance/finance industry is probably one of the oldedst industries on the planet. They have been taking advantage of people for sooooo long. You don’t expect Primerica to come in on it’s White Horse and change everything in a matter of 30 years do you?

We’ve already become the largest marketer of term life insurance in north america. In Canada, we just surpassed investors group as the largest independant market of mutual funds in the country. We basicaly revolutionized the ife insurance industry (with regards to the permanent life insurance philosophy vs buy term & invest the rest). As I mentioned already in a previous blog, we have created more 100K+ earning individuals that any other company on the planet (to my knowledge).

I’d say that’s pretty extraordinary. If you were comparing companies in terms of what they have accomplished over their life time, who they have helped along the way, what is the top income bracket in that company (and more importantly, how MANY people are listed in that bracket), what are the pay-outs/overhead costs etc, I’m pretty sure Primerica would be ranked among the best.

We have virtuall no overhead, the company has a goal to pay out 1 Billion dollars (in total combined income) to the sales force. What company do you know is trying to figure out ways to pay out that kind of money to it’s employees, and increase it year by year?

I mean… I could go on and on about the legendary status of this company. And speak factual information. But there’s always too sides to the coin. In my opinion, it seems as though you are continualy looking at the “other” side. Which, quite frankly, is pretty meaningless….

I say (and morningstar says) Primerica has great funds, you say “yea but.” I say, Primerica has turned more people into 100K+ earners than any other company (which I can’t verfiy, but I would like to see which company has more) and you say “yea but most people won’t make it, or most people quit.” I say (and the experts say) that primerica has been marketing term insurance since day one, doing the right thing for people (fact). You say “yea but NOW all the other companies are marketing term insurance.” < even though they still sell the other crap (whole life).

Think about it, imagine an industry that created a product that was good for the company, and bad for consumers. Imagine a company that used the money consumers paid (for the product) and used that money to pay agents commission. Imagine a company that sold a life insurance policy to a client and then when the client dies, they say “all that money that you were accruing in your “cash surrender value, belongs to us.” And then you found out that they could have sold you a term policy for less, and you could have invested the difference in Primerica Common Sense Funds over the last 10+ years and earned triple what they other company was quoting you? And then, after 100’s of years, this company turns around and says “we’re sorry, we made a mistake” we’re going to sell term insurance now…….

If Primerica isn’t the only company making a difference, then who is? Name 5 other companies that stood up for something. And not just anything, I’m talking about a company that corrected someting that an entire industry was doing wrong (affecting the consumer). These companies should must be headed by someone with integrity. Someone who knew nothing about the industry that he was about to take over. Art Willams was a FOOTBALL COACH. No finance background! And look what he had built in 30 years.

are you serious right now? C’mon…. If you constantly look at the down side or the short comings in life, you will never do what it takes to succeed at anything. You see the glass as half empty, especially when it comes to this great company. If you read/watched “The Secret” you would know that people get exactly what they want out of life. This is DOCUMENTED down to a molecular science.

Financial Blogger, start looking at the positive side of what Primerica has accomplished!There is too much positive information to ignore. Hating on Primerica is like hating Oprah! Who does that? lol


Good afternoon Financial Blogger,
I stumbled across your website because I am a new Primerica representative and I was trying to find out a little bit more about the company that I have just signed on with. I must say that some of your comments, and those of your readers, have given me some food for thought and a few questions to ask my trainer and RVP next time we get together.

However, based upon my limited exposure to the company, I must say that I have to come down on the side of Primerica’s proponents on many of the issues that have been brought up about the company. Let me preface this by stating that I am pretty skeptical about the company still. As with most people, the whole pyramidal nature of sales overrides does make me question the legitimacy of the sales structure.

That being said, all of my experiences with the company thus far have been very positive. I have been shocked to see so many descriptions of people arriving at Primerica overview meetings and being met with an immediate demand to furnish contacts and to sign up or get out. The only contact list that I have been asked to come up with is for my own personal benefit, in order to give me an idea of who I might be able to go to in order to begin my business. No one at Primerica has requested that list from me, nor have they even so much as requested a phone number of anyone on my contact list. My RVP has been very involved in my training, and since he has a PhD. in Finance Economics, I don’t believe that anyone could say that he is unqualified to be training me. It is true that I will not get paid for any sales that are done during my training sessions, but to my mind this makes sense, since it is my trainer, not myself, who is doing the presentation and I am just along for the ride.

I will admit that the presentation given at the company overview is highly motivational and is tailored to appeal on more of an emotional level than on a logical, intellectual level. Again, this is sales, so that makes sense to me. In my experience, 90% of sales are emotionally driven rather than logically based. The advantage with Primerica is that the sales done in the company truly does benefit the customer, as well as the agent making the sale. It is true that Primerica may not be the absolute best in every category of every product that it offers, but is there any highly diversified company that accomplishes this goal? Usually, the top contender in any category is going to be a company that focuses exclusively on that category. Since Primerica’s goal as an organization is to act as a full service financial brokerage, they try to offer a broad assortment of products that will meet the needs of the people the company is trying to help. Jack of all trades, master of none. I’d say that characterizes Primerica fairly well. However, that being said, even though they may not be number one, I would say that Primerica is probably in the top ten percent of companies in each of the areas in which it provides services. In some areas, it is rapidly rising towards the top, such as in its refinancing of mortgages. To my knowledge, Primerica is one of the only companies in the country that offers personal refinancing of mortgages that is not hurting because of the sub-prime mortgage market meltdown. This is because they offer a decent product with no frills, and hidden surprises. Again, I would say that this characterizes the majority of products that Primerica offers.

It is true that sales overrides are one of the easiest ways to make money in the company, and that because of this, recruiting is a major focus of many of the offices. I would have to say that this is the area that makes me the most uncomfortable with the company. I do believe that in order to recruit others, the person recruiting should have a good idea of what they are doing and what kind of company they are recruiting people in to. To this end, I have decided not to recruit anyone until I have obtained my Life Insurance licensing and have been with the company for at least 3 months. If I’m going to recruit people into the company, I want to make certain that I can give my word that what I am recruiting them into is good and that it works.

However, I think that this highlights another of the excellent things about the company: the freedom to handle your business how you want, within certain limits of course. Though it is recommended to me to recruit others, I have shared my concerns with my RVP, and he is completely supportive of the decision I have made not to recruit until I am more sure of the company.

Unfortunately, some people abuse that freedom and operate their Primerica businesses in ways that most people would consider unscrupulous. This is a very unfortunate reality of the world in which we live. Any time freedom exists, unscrupulous people will exist to take advantage of it. Show many any large corporation that does not have unscrupulous people in it, and I will buy their product 100% of the time. Show me any corporation whose profit making focus is entirely sales based that does not have a lot of unscrupulous people working for them, and I will buy whatever they are selling. I don’t think these problems are unique to Primerica, and I think that people within Primerica are aware of the problems that do exist. This past Tuesday night I met a woman who left an office where she was on a 200 person team and moved to the office at which I am working because she felt that the way things were run at the old office was unacceptable.

However, I would say that this is the fault of the individuals, not the fault of the company. My RVP is personal friends with A.L. Williams, the gentleman who founded Primerica, and as V stated above, Primerica was founded in the beginning to help people who were being taken advantage of by large insurance companies. What V did not mention is that one of the primary motivations for Mr. Williams to do this, is that when he was a child, his family was taken advantage of by one of these companies, and when his father died with a whole life policy barely able to cover the costs of his funeral, he learned that the agent who had sold his family the policy could have sold them a term policy for the same price that would have helped his family through the loss of their primary provider. As he got older, he learned that this failing was not unique to his family’s agent, but was standard practice in large insurance companies. Thus, Primerica. Though I do agree that Primerica has lost the claim to exclusivity in its business practices, I do believe that the company as a whole, and many of the individuals in the company (myself included) are genuinely interested in helping people become financially secure.

Another complaint that people make is that Primerica is not really interested in helping people, since the agents and the company itself make commission off of the sales that we perform under the auspices of “helping others.” I think that this complaint is one of the more ludicrous that I have seen. Is it simply not possible to help others and make money at the same time? I don’t think so. Primerica is a business, not a charity, so making money is one of the goals. However, I think the business model of Primerica is unique (at least in my experience). Before any sales attempts are even made, a Primerica representative will furnish the client with a fairly complex Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) that provides strategies for families to get out of debt and start saving/investing for their future. What makes this unique is that Primerica charges the client absolutely nothing for this Financial Needs Analysis. The way Primerica makes its money is that, after presenting the FNA to the client, the agent offers them the financial vehicles they need to make the FNA a reality. However, the client is under no obligation to buy. They can take the FNA, take the advice it gives them, and use the products of any other company to make it a reality. How does the consumer lose in this arrangement?

Going back to the company overview, one of the common complaints that I have heard about Primerica is that the sales overview makes it sound as if making money at Primerica is easy. It could very well be possible that in some Primerica offices, this is the way that it is presented. However, in my experience, this is not the case. At the company overviews I have attended, my RVP gets in front of the audience and says straight out that this business is not easy. He says it is very hard work. What he says is that the business is simple, and I agree that it is, since all you really have to do is present the financial data to the customer and let them make up their mind.

As for allowing people with no advanced education to handle the sales aspect of the company, I do not see how Primerica differs from any other company. Every Primerica representative must pass the same State certified examinations to obtain their licenses as the representatives from other companies. They must complete the same number of training hours each period to retain their licenses. I have been told that I am not even allowed to mention Insurance or Securities products until I have been properly licensed, so I do not believe that this is a fair accusation to make against the company. In addition to the required training hours for the licensing, my office also offers classes twice a week in order to further my education.

Finally, in the research that I have done online, every single complaint or accusation that I have seen leveled at Primerica has been from some one who signed up to work as a representative or attended a company overview and did not like the experience. I have yet to see one complaint from a Primerica customer who has been dissatisfied with the company. Again, as with most companies, I am sure there are consumer complaints, but these seem to be far fewer that those of disgruntled ex-employees.

Thanks so much for your time. Sorry to ramble on like this, but it was actually very helpful for me to clarify some of the thoughts and doubts that I had about the company.

In closing, I love your blog, and you have definitely gotten yourself another loyal reader. Thanks so much!

ahh, Mr. Blogger..

Guess who’s back!!?

You know what, since my first post on your blog, there has been an explosion of posts about Primerica… something like double the posts that were there before our initial conversations.. I can’t help but feel somewhat responsible for that! lol.

FB, I think you owe me some overides! Forget Primerica, break me off with some of that advertising money man! I swear, I won’t tell anyone. lol

But seriously, all jokes aside. I have some questions for you about mutual funds. Completely unrelated to Primerica, well not really:

Here goes.
I hear a lot of people talking about the turnover ratio in mutual funds. How exactly does the buying (and more specifically) the selling of funds by clients, affect the overall performance of a mutual fund.

Another concern of mine is the whole issue surrounding MERs and fees associated with mutual funds. If my fund is reporting a 10% rate of return, isn’t that After the 1.5% or 2.3% MER has been deducted? Meaning, if a fund reports 10% rate of return it really did 12 %or 13% before fees were deducted? The reason I ask is because, if my fund is averaging 10% after fees, why do I care about the fees? 10% is 10%. Ultimately, that is the goal I am concerned with – hitting 10% or better on my overall performance. So, even if the MER was 5%, if the fund is averageing 10% over a 20 year period, should I really care?



by: The Financial Blogger | August 8th, 2008 (7:53 pm)

Hey V,

I am almost glad to see you around 😉 just joking!

Actually, you brought a lot of life on my Primerica Series 😀 Thx a lot!

In regards to your question. I think it worth a whole post. I’m working on it and I will prepare and answer for next week.



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So I went to a “meeting” and when I first walked in I saw nothing but red flags.

First as soon as I walked in they were extremely exited to greet me, actively shaking my hand and asking me all types of “feel good questions”.
As a person who has been in sales for all my life I can state that this is a tactic used to make people feel good and “important”. They target the inexperienced and “weak people” so they can sell services and make little to no money. HEY IF YOU have ever gone to one of this meetings just look at the cars they drive you will NOT be impressed, and they are the ones that have supposedly succeeded.

Second, look at alllllll the fake trophies and awards on the wall’s they even have five foot “gold” statues that look like a Grammy. – ha,ha,ha awards they gave themselves

Third, and this is the bigggggggest red flag to any scam you may encounter they will not answer questions over the phone or in person you have to go to a meeting where they will explain everything. BUT HERE IS THE BEST PART being in a meeting is like watching an hour long (or two) infomercial. They tell you how great the company is and put people up their to tell stories about how Primerica has changed their lives. And they stilllllllllll wont answer questions.

Fourth, number 4 I call this one surround sound. Yes folks this one is tricky to capture but what they do is separate and into a large circle and when their speaker finishes telling you how their lives was horrible before Primerica they all clap and you get a great surround sound noise as if all are clapping —— this my friend is taking selling to a new level I love it except it’s not for a good cause its to take your money for “licensing” fees and they use your time and money. I can keep going all day but people have to understand that PRIMERICA HAS NOTHING TO LOOS IT’S YOUR TIME IT’S YOUR MONEY, —- IF THEY HOOK 5 OF YOU INTO DOING THIS WELL THEY HAVE DONE THEIR JOB.

I’m not the most religious man in the world but god bless them – they will need it

On a side issue when people act like they are wealthy, and have a job that can take you to the sky — fine take your time and look at their watch is it a Timex or a tissot ? Do they drive a 2005 BMW 330 or an old Benz ? Even then Use your conmen sense nothing in live is free, nothing in live comes easy… life is a fight between good and evil …

Wow….. Probably the most unadvised, imprudent, ignorant post that I have ever read on this site to date..

Let’s break down what ‘malbicho’ had to say piece by piece.

1st of all: when you are invited to learn about a new business opportunity (whether it be real estate, franchising, any type of sales job) should you be greeted at the door with sad, uninviting people? Who would want to work for a company where the employees make the environment unpleasant? Who wants to work for a company where everyone hates their job? How about nobody!! And the funny thing is, most north Americans are in that very same predicament. Hating their 9-5, they only do it for that awful paycheck… So you hate on Primerica because they enjoy what they do? That makes sense…..

2nd: The lack of nice cars and “fake” trophies. I love this one. The “Financial Blogger’ said the EXACT same thing in an earlier post. And that just goes to show how ignorant an uninformed this web blogger really is. Hey ‘malbicho’ , Let me take the time to let you in on a little secret (like i did for the Financial Blogger). Read The Millionaire Next Door – by Thomas J Stanley and William Danko. This book is a compilation of research done by two authors in the profiles of ‘millionaires’. In his study of thousands of the wealthiest households in North America, guess what he found… The majority of the richest people you know, DON’T DRIVE EXPENSIVE CARS!!! Idiot…. please, take the time to educate yourself before you open your mouth.

Most of the “Rich” people GOT rich by being frugal. Investing their money over a long period of time and reaping the fruits of their labour. One of, if not THEE wealthiest men in America, Warren Buffet, drives a Lincoln Town car! Do you think less of him? You see, at Primerica we understand this. There’s no need to spend tons of money (that you don’t have) on a depreciating asset, to impress people you don’t even know. It makes no sense. Poor people do that. And by ‘poor’ I mean, your mindset is that of a poor person. Again, read some books on the subject and you will understand.

You have told us a lot about yourself and your values by making such a horrible statement that is completely false. Side note for those reading: don’t believe everything you read on the internet!!!

3rd: i can’t speak for other companies, but the reason that Primerica must sit down with potential clients/associates is because of the nature of our business. This is a hybrid business model that cannot be explained in a 5 or even 10 minute conversation. You see…….. people hate telemarketers, salespeople, business men. Everyone thinks people are “out to get them.” (I’m sure you watch a lot of news at 6pm?) So when someone asks me “what do you do?” It’s a tough question that requires a full explanation. Because I could say , I’m an insurance agent. But then the potential client will box you into that category and they will say “I already have insurance, or i hate sales people, or I don’t need it” Anything to get you off the phone and avoid being “taken advantage of”. The truth is, we’re not insurance agents. We replace whole life life insurance with Term. Term is better for the client 100% of the time. We ELIMINATE debt for clients, we invest money for our clients and most of the funds we market offer 8-12% average rate of return, we educate people about money… we offer Auto Insurance now, we provide unsecure loans at low interest rates (helping people who don’t have a home but have 20+% interest credit cards from Banks). And we do all of this inside a custom FREE financial game plan and deliver it to our clients, explaining to them exactly how they can reach their finiancial goals and dreams. All of these things can’t be explained in 5 mins, so yes, it makes more sense to sit down so we can show the individual how it all works. the more information you give someone, the more they think they know it all.

4th.. I don’t even know where you were going with this comment..

So, i just basically tore apart your whole post. You may have had a bad experience with a representative, and i respect that. But don’t come on the internet and ruin the whole company’s image for everyone else. What we do for our clients is right 100% of the time. That is non-negotiable. We do great things for people and we educate people about a subject that isn’t taught in school.. money! However, because Primerica is run by independant business owners, everyone presents the material a bit different. Your experience in one office will not be the same in another and that is probably the only downfall of the company.

Nice try though.



Hey V,

If you ever come to Montreal, let me know, I’ll pay you a beer 😉
I had a lot of fun reading your reply. Man, that was a kick in the teeth 😀 hehehe!

by: The Financial Blogger | October 10th, 2008 (6:01 am)

Nonetheless, the day that I will make 250K, I will drive a nice an expensive car 😉 You only live once and I won’t be frugal all my life just to die with 3M$ in my pockets ;-0

I agree FB..

But here’s the thing. Most people associate material objects such as cars, a nice house, furniture, clothes etc with success… you SEEM to have a goal of $3M or earning 250K per year. That’s the key. You must be obsessed with attaining financial independance or financial freedom first, THEN you can get the car the house or whatever else you dream of. Until you are financially free, it’s ok to drive in a lincoln town car, or a honda civic, or live in a duplex.

Everyone has a financial independance number. Yours might be $3Mill or 250K in stable income (that does not come from a job). But your goal should always be on acquiring that sum of money first so you are INDEPENDANT.. Not relying on the government for a pension, or your employer for a paycheck, or a President/Prime Minister to make your life better. IF you are dependant on those things, you will never make it.

And if you buy that big house, expensive car and all that stuff BEFORE you’re financially independant, you will never reach that FIN number. Try getting rich when you have a mortgage, property tax, mortgage insurance, hydor bills, maintenance, upkeep, mercedes car payment, mercedes car insurance, mercedes maintenance, kids, student loan, credit car bills, LOC’s, cable/wireless bills, the list goes on and on.. And this person probably makes 50-70K, which equals 40-55K after tax? (way above average income by the way).

And we look at that person who has the nice house and the nice car and we think “wow… he’s so special.” C’mon. Pure 30K millionaires out there. First you MUST aspire to reach financial independance.. . THEN you can buy the toys. not the other way around.

Hey malbicho, maybe you would know this if you PAYED ATTENTION to that meeting you went to! hahahaha…. ahh man, this is to easy.

But I hear you FB. I like nice things too. However, you gotta keep it in order of priority. My freedom means more to me than a nice car.



MR v
—- I will respond to some of his questions, comments and concerns.
Mr. V: states “Wow….. Probably the most unadvised, imprudent, ignorant post that I have ever read on this site to date..”

Malbicho: thank you Mr. V — a little angry are we?

Mr. V: “Let’s break down what ‘malbicho’ had to say piece by piece.”

Malbicho: yes because my comments and opinions are so ignorant that you have to break them down “piece by piece”.

Uuuu or better yet let papi teach you how to do that.

Mr. V: “1st of all: when you are invited to learn about a new business opportunity, should you be greeted at the door with sad, uninviting people?

Malbicho: wow that’s a tough question Mr. V

Mr. V: “Who wants to work for a company where everyone hates their job?’

Malbicho: oh Mr. V not me I better run to Primerica

Mr. V: “we invest money for our clients and most of the funds we market offer 8-12% average rate of return”

Malbicho: what’s the risk?

Mr. V: “And the funny thing is, most north Americans are in that very same predicament Hating their 9-5”

Malbicho: WOW Mr. V you really speak for all Americans have you considered running for president??

MR V: “The lack of nice cars and “fake” trophies. I love this one. Just goes to show how ignorant an uninformed this web logger really is. Hey ‘malbicho’ , Let me take the time to let you in on a little secret Read the Millionaire Next Door – by Thomas J Stanley and William Danko.”

MR V: “please, take the time to educate yourself before you open your mouth.”

Mr. Malvicho: ok happend with the fake trophies?? well thank you for educating me it sounds like you probably have a background in teaching. — Dear sir with all the respect in the world to Thams J and William Danko in today’s age my dog could write a book.

Although this sounds like it could actually be a good read. No pun intended.

MR V: “The majority of the richest people you know, DON’T DRIVE EXPENSIVE CARS!!! Idiot…. “

Malbicho: Controlling Anger — Before It Controls you http://www.apa.org/topics/controlanger.html just a suggestion MR V

MR V: “Warren Buffet, drives a Lincoln Town car” –

Malbicho: yes and he is a rare man would you not agree???????

Mr. V: “Side note for those reading: don’t believe everything you read on the internet!!!”

Malbicho: except for what MR V and his friend that work for Primerica write.

Mr. V: “this is a hybrid business model that cannot be explained in a 5 or even 10 minute conversation”

Malbicho: NO it cant — so come on in, spend two hours with us and see if this is a good mach for you… only positive thinkers, and does with a winning attitude will achieve great success. Now give me 150 dollar for licensing fees’ and oh if you have questions please hold on you will have to come to a second meeting.
All this after you have spent over an hour watching infomercials so yes it can’t be explained in 5 or 10 minute conversation.

On a side note: by questions I mean smart ones, for example can you send me a signed contract with exactly how my commission will be paid. ? —
Notice my question did not start with “if hired” REMEMBER from my first blog it’s your time, it’s your money they will hire anyone.

MR V: However, because Primerica is run by independant business owners, everyone presents the material a bit different. Your experience in one office will not be the same in another and that is probably the only downfall of the company.”

MR V: “So, I just basically tore apart your whole post”

Malbicho: all I have written is my personal opinion I do not hate Primerica, Primerica is what makes the United States great—- you the people diced what is best for you. MR V, nor the government or I can tell you what to do. You my friends have the freedom of choice.

If in employing or recruiting sales people they are willing lie and say anything well how do they treat their customers???

Mr. V: “What we do for our clients is right 100% of the time.”

Malbicho: yes and I satisfy my wife 100% of the time

Peace to all I have wasted enough time on Primerica so this is my last blog so relax Mr. V, I have to get back to my life. I hope my personal opinions will be respected without you using insulting language.


V: I appreciate your comments and how you show the true nature of Primerica using facts not opinion. It really pisses me off to see the stupid biased comments people make about the company with no real information to back it up. I’m glad to know that there is someone out there with common sense standing up for, what I believe is, a truly noble cause.

JCB: Thanks for that ramble, I had a lot of thoughts like that too when I was first looking at Primerica, and that about summed them up. Being a skeptic myself I was ALWAYS looking into the company trying to find the “catch” as well, and even working with the company now, I’m still trying to find one… But after a lot of reading of credible sources, talking to many qualified people, and having experience working with the company, I think it is fair to assume that this company really is as great as it looks.

FB: Love the site, will be on it often, lots of great information.

Always eager to hear from other PFS people, feel free to send me a GoSolo: 866-424-6215

See you at the top!

– CC

Mrs. The Financial Blogger ,

All businesses are pyramidal structured! The poor guy on the floor makes the whole fridge for example, the big guy in the office and the ones between cash in the big bucks. Look at every single “organizational chart” and you have your answers! I am not with Primerica, Amway, etc…they have a different approch to make business as the ones we are used to. Very nice posting and very intereseting comments. I really love it.

I was with Primerica once… Good thing I wised up!!!

I had a client recently switch her funds to go to PFS, if she want to encourage a friend, no problem with that it’s her money. But what I am mad about is the fact this person is not smart enough to pass a MF exam so he/she sells her seg funds and ‘dings’ her with over $1000 of DSC fee. she could have just taken over the existing funds!!!

As for your marvelous return Mr V take a look at any site and you will see that on a one year basis you funds are between -10% and -30% (I know most other are too) and since inception between 2% and 7.5% long way from 8% to 12% you peddle still using those numbers on your FNA to make things look prettier?

I’ve attended numerous Primerica meetings because I believe that the system is doable, but the reality is that many of these representatives don’t even have their own finances in order, and they’re telling others how to manage their money. I would say that out of my own observations at numerous offices maybe only 1% are actually financially secure and know what they’re doing with their own money. Now, these observations weren’t based on the cars being driven or the watches on these people’s wrists. Many people would point out that the majority of Primerica representatives don’t own nice, let alone decent cars or even a home, but I understand that possessions aren’t necessarily a sign of wealth, and I’m all for frugality. What I noticed is that, if you’re in there long enough (that is, if you’re not brainwashed by then), you start catching subtle clues that indicate that the majority of these people, even those who have been in there for years, are faking it until they make it. For many, making it never comes. I remember how one guy was trying to sign my brother up for a “job with Primerica” on the street while a female team members was trying to recruit contacts through a payphone right next to him, (she had a lot of quarters in her hands). Out of all places, this scene took place in front of a social services office. This isn’t an isolated occurrence, I have plenty of stories. These RVPs talk about making 20 to 40 thousand dollars per month, but this is before business expenses, and it is not their personal income. It is the accumulation of the people under them, and a small percentage of that is paid to the RVP himself. Let me know if anyone has actually seen an actual T1 form from an RVP who claims they make this money.


First: I am a rep.

Second: I have a great relationship with my RVP.

I can appreciate that people may try and exaggerate their success, but I consider myself one of the lucky people that have an excellent upline – full of leaders and mentors including my RVP.

I have been to my RVP’s house several times, summer bbq’s etc and his home is easily worth $750,000 (that may or may not be a lot to sum). He has been in business for 12 years and has worked very hard to get where he is. I think people don’t understand that THIS is a business – you have to be dedicated and work hard. period. This would apply to anyone that considers themselves self-employed – be professional, network and meet new people, promote your business and perhaps sell a product. The main difference I saw with this is that I have ACTUALLY helped families that didn’t spend anymore money then before I was there and managed to restructure debt to free up money which allowed me to put life insurance and a retirement savings plan in place. Not a bad business model – focusing on probably the most lucrative market – financial services (debt, income protection, and investments)

With that being said, my RVP confided in my because I was getting frustrated, people are people and may do, or say things THEN change their mind. He said in the first 3 years (busting his ass) he may have made 25-30 thousand TOTAL. Now, with all of this hard work, he built a client base that TRUST him and expanded his business by HIRING others and training them with integrity and honesty. I can tell anyone straight up that I would not be doing this if I saw any shady dealings, or blatant disregard for the “client”.

I am educated and was making just under $100,000 per year on my T4 before I joined Primerica. The reason why, a family friend was a CFP and he sold my wife and I a whole life cash value policy. When I found out how much I was spending ($135 / month for $150,000) I was outraged that a) I didn’t do my due diligence, but b) a family “friend” sold us that when he could have sold us term, but chose to conveniently not mention it – he made $1900+ on that sale.

My RVP IS making on average $34,000 a month deposited into his account. I was on the verge of quitting and he saw that I had the desire ..blah blah blah.. so we started looking over his very first statements then a couple years back then all of last year and I was shocked. I didn’t think that I was motivated by money until I saw the statements – I started thinking that COULD be me ! FREEDOM !

Just to clarify – that money is a combination of:
– personal production (every time he makes a sale)
– overrides from his team (consider that a training and development incentive)
– base shop bonuses (on entire team production)
– royalties on RVP’s that his base shop has promoted
– investment trails (expected in ANY financial services company (not just Primerica). This means, the more money that you have under your management, you get trails (commission from the MER). which can add up. He was making just over $11,000 / month on just trail fees. That was about 55 million in assets under management.

Just my $0.02

by: canadianrep | June 4th, 2010 (2:01 pm)

the reality is I’ve been ib sales for years its very normal for sales companys to not tell people what there going into till they get there most people would never check it out if they were told all the info up front would THINK THEY KNOW IT ALL now primarica isnt a get rich quick sceme it seems to be a change to build a life with freedom and prosperity. now unlike rp I have very little respect for my rvp he’s been doing it a long time with not much personal gains, and creeps out most of the people that I have brought him to do presentations with. like in any sales orianted business tho usauly its defently not for everyone people need to like trust and respect you. but besides all that everything I have been able to find negative with them on the internet can be explained away with ignorance. now there are other companys selling term but usauly only if they can’t get you on a cash value product first.

Primerica is a well respected company in one of the most regulated industries. Most negative information is from people that have failed, dont understand how running your own business worksor have the mentality of working for someone else and earning an hourly wage. Its not a job, the fact is if you dont work you dont make money period!! Its not get rich quick, but like any business it has great potential.
Hope this helps

I didn’t realise how long it would take to read this blog. I guess I also noted how whole life agents like to point out the ‘lower commissions’ are paid to new recruits. The whole commission structure w/l agents get for themselves is spread over the number of people in the ‘pyramid’ structure. That is to say100% of the amount is equal to the total over-rides paid or all to one salesman. Clearly the salesman types prefer as much as they can get compared to the team backing up the teacher type we promote. I’m going again to join Primerica after a few years away due to health concerns. It SOUNDS good to hear you offer a CHOICE of plans. Apparently one type is supposedly better than another. You’re after the money. If one plan is better than another in your portfolio, who do you sell the inferior plan to? Not everyone can buy a Cadillac. Thats why most people drive cars they get the most value from. You, on the other hand, would prefer to have everyone buy a Cadillac from you, or a Rolls Royce would perhaps be a better choice? Millionaire clients should buy Whole Life, because taxes dictate their situation is best served by w/l.That is the reason for the product. No argument there from me. But the average middle income family?? The old adage still holds true. “Sell term and don’t eat. Sell whole life and don’t sleep!”

Seriously folks! Is this what we debate about in America…Get a grip..if you dont like the structure of how Primerica operates their business then so be it..but lets just talk about the facts of the financials and leave it at that.

I came across this blog as I was performing my due diligence and researching Primerica before considering getting involved.

The father (let’s call him Andy) of a friend with whom I work is involved with Primerica at the organizational level as well as the investment level (mutual funds). This is not his job, he does this on the side for his own benefit. He owns and operates a successful HVAC business and has done quite well for himself, but like any prudent and self aware individual he knew more could be done to obtain independence.

So yesterday, as a matter of fact, Andy’s regional trainer (let’s call him Bob) was visiting and they had a cancellation. Some months prior, through talking with my friend, I had learned that Andy is an adviser of budgeting, saving, investing and the like. Being new to the job, and realizing that I was now making significantly more money than I was used to in the past, I had an opportunity to build a nest egg and expressed my interest in wanting to speak with him.

Flashing back to yesterday, I had completely forgotten about Andy and what he does, so he and Bob thought to stop by and pay me a visit. Now, in the time between expressing my interest in learning more about what he did and having the sit down yesterday, the thought of saving money and investing etc, had quickly faded and I fell back in to the cyclical nature of bad spending habits and going from pay cheque to pay cheque wondering “where the hell had all my money gone?”

This month I decided to do something about it for myself, and came up with a budget that based on my past spending habits I knew I could actually stay within, assuming I adhered to a few minor lifestyle changes (eating in more than out, structuring payments so that each paycheque is balanced and one is not left with significantly less money than the other etc). Between my mandatory expenses, and the expenses to pay back student loans along with a personal loan to a family member (which amounts to over 600/mo) I have discovered that I could at the end of each month have nearly $500 not allocated to anything. It may not seem like a lot, but when you are counting your dollars and making the determination of how you’re going to make it to next pay cheque with 14 dollars in change and 5 days to go, it suddenly becomes a lot more significant.

Anyhow, as Bob began his short presentation I quickly caught on that this was simply informational. It was intended to make people more aware of how their money could be working for them, rather than them working for their money. So I stopped Bob and let him know all the things I have done in the past month, and that I had already taken the decision to take charge of my money and start wanting to do something with it.

Very quickly, he could see that I was not a dullard and could actually understand the nature of the model (dollar cost averaging, how group fund portfolios work etc) and immediately delved into the numbers. We ran through the FIN chart, went over the Rule of 72 and looked at the Concert series of Funds.

The entire meeting took approximately 30-45 minutes, and not once did I feel pressured. I was simply asked questions, often which were questions I had never asked myself before and when I answered, I found myself coming to a realization that it’s really a simple concept (saving money, the distinction between being a bank slave and financially independent).

At the end of the presentation during an impromptu question and answer period, I asked the questions on how this can work for me and not how much money will I make). Bob was very clear that this is not a crystal ball, but at the same time that the proof was in the pudding. The model is established, and yes while there was fluctuation, sometimes wildly so, in the end there was still a gain.

I then asked the question “So, speaking from the business perspective of what you do, what is the residual effect of all of this. How do you make your money.” He stopped for a moment and I could tell he wasn’t asked that question very often. As it turns out, with how these mutual funds are managed by the banks, percentages are taken off the top to pay the various levels of management (bank, regulators, Primerica, etc) after the small top percentage is removed the rest is where the returns come from.

Now, it is a very slight yet critical distinction. The money is not being taken from your pocket, the money in effect is pooled to purchase your shares, the pool value of all those shares combined is where the management fees are docked from which I am entirely comfortable with. I understand like anything in life this is a business and something is never achieved from nothing.

At the end of the day, would you rather take the top 1-2% from the pool overall, knowing that your investments are being actively managed and not just thrown aside to be tossed and turned with every climb and fall of the market and receive a slightly lower return or risk losing everything and being worse off than you were before?

One final thought and I will depart. When it comes to these group meetings or presentations, naturally I am as skeptical as the next person. I have not been specifically to a Primerica one, but out of curiosity I had attended a few Amway presentations just to see for myself. It makes me sad really, that so many people will blindly jump into something because of feel good stories and presentations. Now, I’m not judging nor am I directly comparing Primerica to Amway. They are two completely different species, though distantly related by a few common principles.

The first is referral based business, do you see aggressive marketing campaigns on TV, or in radio for Amway, or even Primerica? One of the reasons these businesses tend to work for some people, is the fact that there is relatively LOW overhead, so associative costs are much lower when compared to the “traditional” business model.

The second key principle in common is the inclusion of a human element to business. We in this day and age have become so programmed, that we don’t understand what it is to retain our humanism in the face of business; for a large majority of people it’s pure numbers and risk/reward averaging. So, being greeted by a friendly person? Stories of how certain people have managed or are enroute to achieving their success? It’s all designed to get you to break the mold, shake free your shackles of relative destitution and take charge of your future.

Before you judge and so quickly jump to conclusions, and just because you have attained some measure of what you consider success for yourself (everyone’s consideration will vary wildly), does not mean you are the rule, you are the exception to the rule. For every 1 person who is satisfied in all aspects of their life (personal, financial, professional) there are likely 100 that have some sort of imbalance that they would like corrected.

In closing, it all depends on how you perceive the world around you. Are you stuck in the classical management scheme, or are you a forward thinking individual who doesn’t see the need to be indebted to people who don’t know who you are and likely will never care to?

The world is changing, I’m making sure I’m on the right side of change.

I thank you all for your opinions. Even though some were biased and some were hidden in anger, I was able to pull the facts out and make my own conclusions. I have listed the pros and cons (on a personal level for myself) of becoming an agent for Primerica and have personally decided not to do so. The main reason is because of the company’s reputation. This is where the company’s insistance on advertising only by word of mouth is lacking. A great PR campaign over a period of time is required. I want to work for a company that has the public’s respect, not for one I have to defend. I do know that the products are good and in some cases better than other companies. I also know that for me it is not the right choice. I am actually a very good sales person for products I believe in, but I am not interested in recruiting, approaching friends and relatives or in trying to defend/sell the company’s reputation. I commend all of you making a success of it. You are talented!

Barb: if people weren’t attacking Primerica, it would be because they are insignificant or just doing the same stuff as the rest of the industry. If you have read “The Wealthy Barber Returns” you will see how traditional agents lied and attacked the author, who has never been in the industry. Warburg Pincus spent ten million dollars researching Primerica before the IPO in 2010 and then bought 230 million dollars of stock. Ask yourself, why does the company have a ‘bad reputation’. Is it sour grapes and fear of what they are going to do to your business, or what?