Recently, I was almost sucked into a company called AP Financial. They are owned by a company called AEGON. AEGON also owned WMA, a company that was investigated in the past for doing what AP Financial is doing now.
I was contacted by someone from AP Financial via email after they found my resume online. The email was from the executive director of the Orlando branch. It said she was very busy and would love to interview me but the only time she had available was tuesday at 10am. I responded and told her I'd be there. When I showed up on tuesday it was like an open house. There were approximately 30 other people in the office who had received the same exact email. They sat us down for an information session and then broke off into individual interviews.
I don't want to drag on about this, but I should've known from the start they were not trustworthy when they even lied about the very first interview.
I interviewed, then was invited back for a second interview, and was eventually offered the job. They require that you pay for your own licensing with the promise that you will be reimbursed after you're with the company for a certain length of time.
What's very unsettling is that while you are getting your licenses, they require that you set 7 appointments with potential clients from your natural market (family and friends) and your mentor, who is an experienced advisor in the company. When I was hired there were about 5 advisors/mentors for the 30 new recruits. The first appointment, however, is just you and your mentor. At this appointment your mentor sells you a variable life insurance policy (VUL). Then at every other appointment you set, your mentor tries to sell each of your family members and friends a VUL. Keep in mind, you're doing this while you are getting licensed, and since you're not licensed you don't get a penny of the commission. Your mentor gets it all. A VUL is a very expensive policy that is next to impossible to back out of for many years. It is a great investment tool, but not for everyone. The so called advisors at AP Financial recommend VULs to everyone they see, seemingly regardless of suitability.
The apparent goal is to hire about 30 people each month, require those 30 people to set 7 appointments, and sell VULs to approximately 210 people(30x7). Now as I said earlier, there were about 5 mentors, that means each mentor just picked up 42 potential new clients. Most people don't make it through the training. By the end of my first month there, there were roughly 5 recruits left from the 30 i started with. Some drop out because they discover it's a scam, others decide the industry just isn't for them, and many don't make it through training because they don't pass their licensing exams. But how could they pass their licensing exams when instead of studying, their too busy bringing in clients to just hand over to their mentor? The advisors at the company don't care though, because they've already made huge commissions off of your family and friends, who are now locked into VULs that they can't get out of unless they want to pay huge penalties.
I realized the scam when i noticed 30 brand new faces at the beginning of the second month I was there.
I'm not sure if the 'advisors' there even prospect or try and get any of their own clients. They could easily make a six figure income just by 'hiring' another batch of 30 people each month, then having those 30 people bring their family and friends into the office, and selling them VULs.
Just incase anyone is wondering about my credibility, or if you should listen to what I have to say, I'll say this; First, I am embarrassed that I spent a month at this company before I realized what was going on. I have a bachelors degree in economics from a major university, and I am currently a financial advisor with one of the largest financial firms in the world. A company which I wont name, but is listed on the fortune and global 500 lists. This company hired me along with 1 other person, and helped us get our licenses before we were required to make any sales or set any appointments. So when we finally did set appointments and make sales, we actually received the commissions. This is how a legit financial firm should be! Hiring in small numbers so that you can actually make sure the recruits become advisors. AP Financial doesn't care if you become an advisor, they only care if you bring in your 7 new clients.
I was suckered in by AP Financial because of their promises of vast wealth and rapid advancement. Now I see the reason they advance so rapidly. Instead of making any cold calls, they just hire 30 people, prey on the friends and family of those 30 (anyone in sales knows a warm lead is almost a guaranteed close, whereas a cold call is anything but) and then really don't care if any of those 30 actually make it through the training, get licensed and become advisors. Your mentor already has a ton of new clients and all of the commissions.
What AP Financial is doing in NOT illegal, just incredibly immoral and unethical. Be careful if you're looking to get into financial sales and they contact you.
Please respond if you've had a run in with this company.