Boy what a bunch of conniving liars!
I volunteered as an associate trainee in a Centerville, Ohio USA district. I had an accounting degree but was unemployed at the time. The manager in fast spoken but very nice guy manners made everything about WFG and earning potential sound pretty exciting and that I would be providing a fast growing need to the community.
Slowly there are more fees and tests and out of the gate it's costing over $1,000 of my own pocket before I can begin to sell anything. I pass my tests and background checks and even came up with over 100 contacts to begin my new career. But there's more out of pocket expenses now there's office rent, mandatory group telephone charges and even have to pay to go to a district meeting with snack foods which ran out before I arrived there with faulty directions. Still I was very interested in the financial business and was acknowledged as an acute learner of the materials.
So I asked questions and boy did I get the runaround. Never got a straight answer on the commissions earned by selling the various products or why despite their claims WFG was NOT a pyramid scheme or that this wasn't sales, it was educating and providing the public a service. Then why was the emphasis solidly on Variable Annuities despite my advice from other non-WFG professionals that this is not the best way to go? They wouldn't consider fundamental financial products like Term Insurance, Roth IRA's, 529 College Plans, I could go on but the untold reason was that those commissions aren't very high. And I discovered quickly that sales were indeed the name of the game along with recruitment.
So it wasn't what they preached. Even worse was real pressure from the gitgo to turn over all my present retirement and investment plans to WFG and show company solidarity! In fact their preferred funds were also owned by Aegon! They are selling themselves, not even the best funds available (and I was told whether the fund was rated 5 or 1 star doesn't matter, they change every day anyway!). I declined but it took much more energy to say no and go with my gut than to go with the flow.
I was torn, as much as I wanted so bad to begin this new career it was making less sense and questions were given fuzzy answers. Even knowing I was unemployed I was pushed into more and more expenses while not having yet gone out to make my first presentation. Just as I finished passing my insurance and securities licenses I was called into the manager's office and got an unbelievable yell down. They knew I figured it out and was kicked out, just like that. It was so humiliating and uncalled for.
All I did was ask questions as to why their professional advice did not match the other education I received from other brokers and other media. It was a great lesson to stick to your gut, acquire the proper information, and then evaluate if the non-sales job this was primed to be ACTUALLY was a sales job on the sales associates!!
Avoid Ohio and all other World Financial Group locations