Welcome to my Primerica review!
Just to start things right, this is not a review of Primerica’s insurance plans. Feel free to visit sites like NerdWallet if you want to compare plans.
However, if you are looking to join Primerica as a business opportunity and make some money, you’re in the right place.
You might have heard from a friend about making money with Primerica, but is the opportunity as good as it sounds? Or is Primerica a pyramid scheme? Let’s find out.
Niche: Financial services
Type: Network Marketing / MLM
Founder: Arthur L. Williams Jr.
Current CEO: Glenn J. Williams
Costs: $99 IBA fees + $25/month
Best For: People who are good at recruiting members and face-to-face selling
You are doing the right thing reading up reviews of Primerica and investigate this business opportunity thoroughly, because not everyone is suitable for this business model.
Since Primerica uses a multi-level-marketing structure for sales, you are expected to do the following:
- Get licensed and understand Primerica products
- Sell the products
- Attend training and conferences (which costs you money)
- Recruit new agents
- Motivate and coach your agents to do the above
This is the same process you need to go through no matter which network marketing company you join.
When you join an MLM company, one of the most common tactics to get you started is to have you come up with your personal name list to contact and recruit.
Most of the time, this name list is made up of your family members and close friends. You will meet them up, do face-to-face selling, and recruit them if possible.
If you don’t feel comfortable with this process, you will do better with a business model that doesn’t involve direct human contact.
In this case, you should look into affiliate marketing instead.
This is how I make 4-figure side income per month using just my laptop, without meeting clients or recruiting anyone.
Of course, everyone has different dispositions, and works well for me may not work as well to you.
I chose affiliate marketing over MLM mainly because I don’t like to recruit and sell stuff to people around me.
It takes hard work to make money whether you choose MLM or affiliate marketing, so you might as well choose one that suits your personalities.
With that said, if you are that confident you can make it big with MLM companies, let’s dive straight into our Primerica review.
Table of Contents:
- Primerica Review Summary
- What is Primerica?
- How Do Consumers View Primerica?
- Primerica as a Business Opportunity
- Reality Check: How Much Do Primerica Agents Make?
- How I Make a Sustainable Income
What Is Primerica?
Primerica founder Arthur L. Williams
Primerica is a United States-based multi-level-marketing company that sells insurance and financial services.
This is a unique offering, considering that the vast majority of MLMs focus on supplements and physical products.
Primerica was initially a subsidiary company of Citigroup (the same parent company of Citibank), which spun off on its own through an IPO in 1st April 2010.
Today, Primerica is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with a ticker symbol of PRI.
Considering its history and strong financial standing, there is no doubt that Primerica is legitimate and not a pyramid scheme.
Primerica offers a wide range of financial services
The major product categories under Primerica are as follow:
- Term life insurance
- Mutual funds and other investment vehicles
- Pre-paid legal services
- Auto insurance and home insurance
- Credit monitoring
- Debt management plans
If you intend to become a Primerica agent, you need to have at least some interest in financial literacy to get started.
As part of the $99 registration fees, you will receive training on these topics and get licensed to become an official Primerica agent.
Do note that most Primerica sponsors will encourage you to start pitching the products to people around you (also known as warm market) before you even get licensed.
I’d strongly suggest that you only start selling after you get licensed for 2 reasons:
- You should get fully understand the products before you start selling them
- You are not entitled to the commissions if you make a sale before you are a licensed Primerica agent
I’ve read stories about new Primerica recruits who introduce their warm leads to their sponsor before getting licensed and end up not making any money for themselves.
Don’t make that mistake. If you are determined to become an agent, save your leads until you become licensed to sell.
How do Consumers View Primerica?
As a potential Primerica agent, it’s mandatory that you know the company’s reputation from the public’s point of view.
After all, your success hinges on:
- Product quality. Does the product provide competitive advantage compared to other services out there?
- Company’s reputation. Do people shun away the moment you mention Primerica?
One of the best ways to find out is to look at comments and feedback of current customers. What are the consumers’ impression on Primerica?
I’ve collated some popular comments about the company here.
This guy summed up the Primerica business opportunity pretty well.
While Primerica is definitely not a scam, the way their agents approach and recruit people makes it seem like one.
Instead of focusing on the concept of building a long term career, most agents promises quick returns and passive income as a way to recruit new members.
They also pressure new recruits to produce a name list of family and friends before these recruits are even licensed to sell.
Even if there are people making money from the opportunity, the vast majority just don’t make enough to make it worthwhile (more on this later).
While there are strong supporters of Primerica’s business model, critics have pointed out that combining financial products and MLM makes it easy for unscrupulous agents to exploit uninformed people.
All in all, the public’s perception on Primerica is a mixed bag. You may face harsh critics if you try to recruit and sell Primerica services.
Challenges as a Primerica Agent
When a company sells their products mainly through commission-based network marketing agents, you will see a lot of hard-selling and pestering.
This is what happens with a lot of Primerica agents, thus giving a negative public perception that the company is a scam.
If a lot of Primerica agents are doing this, it puts new agents at a great disadvantage because most people will learn to shun the company.
Even if they listen to you, you will have a very hard time closing deals.
Not only that, as a multi-level-marketing company, Primerica puts an emphasis on recruitment and rewards their agents for doing it.
As a result, we see many agents try to recruit people around them just to make more commissions.
Another issue that comes with commission-based products is the inflated product prices.
ValuePenguin compared sample term life insurance quotes from Primerica against 50 insurers and found that Primerica ranged from 11% to 29% more expensive for the same coverage.
Primerica has to charge their policy at a premium rate because it has to account for up to 11 generations deep of commissions for its agents.
The only way to pay commissions to these agents (and generations of agents before them) is to make more profit per product sale.
Unfortunately, this makes the products less competitive and more difficult to sell.
In summary, here are some of the challenges you will face as a Primerica agent:
- Potential negative perception
Depending on who you are asking, people may already have a negative impression about Primerica if they have experienced high-pressured sales tactic before.
- Inflated product prices
As mentioned earlier, Primerica quotes are generally more expensive than its peers because they need to account for agent commissions.
- Extremely high failure rate
Studies of independent consumer watchdog agencies found that approximately 99.7% of all MLM representatives lose money after accounting for expenses.
Primerica As A Business Opportunity
For those who are looking to become Primerica agent, this section is for you.
We’ll talk about the costs to get started, Primerica’s compensation plan, ways you can make money with the company, as well as the latest official income disclosure.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Started?
Fortunately, the starting cost of a Primerica agent is considered pretty low compared to other MLMs out there.
Registration costs: $99 Independent Business Application (IBA) fees
Subscription fees: $25/month
According to Primerica, the registration costs is used to pay your background check (as part of their screening process) and for you to get an official “Primerica Sales License”.
As with many other MLM companies, there is an ongoing subscription fees required to keep your account active.
The $25 that you pay every month goes to your online back-end account.
You can access your stats, marketing material, training by Primerica top leaders, as well as company-related news from this account.
Again, these running costs are pretty minimal compared to some other MLMs where you have to make minimal purchases every single month.
How to Make Money with Primerica?
There are a 2 main ways you can make money with the company:
- Commissions from personal sales
Primerica offers a wide range of financial products and services, with the most popular product being term life insurance. You make commission for every sale you make (detailed percentages below).
- Overrides from recruit sales
If you recruit new Primerica agents and they make sales, you will be making commissions based on the rank difference between you and your recruit. The overrides is effective for 11 generations deep.
Primerica’s compensation plan is a uni-level pay plan, which means that all your recruits are placed on the first level.
With this type of compensation plan, people who are strong recruiters and motivators will have a great advantage when it comes to earning overrides.
After all, the main income potential with Primerica lies with recruiting members and building up a large sales team.
As you recruit more members under your name, you will need to coach them to make sales and in turn, recruit more members.
The structure can be nicely summed up with a typical MLM tree as illustrated above.
Your initial goal will be to understand the products and make personal sales.
Once you have some experience, your focus will shift to recruiting as many agents as possible and motivate them to make sales, so you can make commissions from the overrides.
Primerica Compensation Plan
Once you get licensed to become a Primerica agent, you will start off as a representative.
As you fulfill the requirements to unlock new ranks (e.g. get licensed on new products, recruit certain number of agents etc.), you are entitled to higher commissions.
As mentioned in the section earlier, you can earn override commissions from the sales of your recruits based on differential percentages.
Let’s say that you are at District (50%) level while your recruit is at Representative (25%) level.
If he makes a sale worth $1,000, he earn a personal commissions of $250 (25%).
As the sponsor, you will earn the override commissions of $250 as well based on differential percentages (50% – 25% = 25%). This goes on for 11 generations deep.
As you can probably imagine, you will want to stay ahead of your recruits. This is a clever way for Primerica to motivate its agents to work harder.
Reality Check: How Much Do Primerica Agents Make?
While Primerica recruiters promises a bright future with the compensation plan, how many of their agents really make a sustainable income from the opportunity?
A look at Primerica’s 2016 income disclosure paints a clear picture.
From January 1 through December 21, 2016, Primerica paid cash flow to its North American sales force at an average of $6,088 per life licensed representative.
This is not very different from the 2010 income disclosure where Primerica agents make an average of $5,156 per year.
While having an extra $500 per month doesn’t sound half bad, it doesn’t take into account the following stats:
- 60% of all agents fail to make a single cent.
- The amount quoted was gross payout. You still have to deduct the miscellaneous costs associated with running the business.
The figure pales in comparison to the average salary of a certified financial planner ($66,437 per year).
When you think about it, the job of a Primerica agent is pretty much the same as a certified financial planner. You will need to:
- Get educated and licensed on financial products
- Sell financial products and earn commissions
With a certified financial planner job, you get the following perks:
- No pressure to recruit family and friends
- Access to more financial products in the market
- Arguably lesser skepticism from your potential customers
Even with the override commissions, it is clear that most Primerica agents just don’t make enough with the business opportunity.
Why Do Most Primerica Agents Fail to Make Money?
To be honest, no one joins a MLM opportunity just to make friends or make money for the company.
Everyone joined at some point with just a single goal in mind – to make more money for themselves and the ones they love.
However, the odds are heavily stacked against you if you become a Primerica agent without the correct skill set and expectations.
Try asking a cosmetic shop employee who makes commissions from sales. They’ll tell you it’s more difficult than it seems to close a deal.
In these cases, the customers in the shop are already somewhat interested in the products they are offering.
Now imagine how difficult it will be to convince someone to want your financial services in the first place?
This is the harsh reality faced by many Primerica agents. They are recruiting and selling services to people who are not looking for these products.
To make a successful sale, they may have to pitch it to a dozen of prospects, many of them close friends and family members.
Even if they do make a sale, it may be at the expense of a long-term friendship.
Are You Cut Out To Be A Primerica Agent?
When it comes to Primerica, the money lies in recruiting agents, and to recruit a lot of agents at that.
It’s the reality of every MLM – the big money resides in recruiting a large following of down-lines and keep motivating them to make sales.
Let’s do a bit of self-reflection on whether you are cut out for the network marketing business model:
- Do you enjoy talking to people and introducing MLM opportunities to others? Can you take rejections with a smile and keep on pushing forward?
- Apart from your family and friends, do you have other ways of approaching new prospects? Don’t make the classic mistake of losing family and friends over an MLM company.
- Are you ready to attend weekly or monthly meetings with your team and sponsor? Joining an MLM team is a commitment. You are expected to recruit new agents and make sales, or you are a liability.
If your answers to all three questions above is a unanimous “YES!”, then you might just have what it takes to thrive in Primerica and make it to the top 0.3% that really makes money.
I have been involved in MLMs before, and unfortunately, these were the top 3 reasons why I quit and looked elsewhere.
How I Make A Sustainable Income
If your answer to any of the questions above is a definite NO, you are probably not cut out to be a network marketer.
Fortunately, there are other avenues to make sustainable side income at home. One such methods is called affiliate marketing.
In affiliate marketing, you make a commission when you introduce relevant products and services to people who need it.
Most importantly, you don’t have to target the people around you. I’ve never recruited anyone or sold anything to people I personally know.
In fact, I’ve talked to any customer or answer to anyone. This is the benefit of going online and leveraging on a website that works 24/7.
If you want to know how I got started, read about my story and learn from my failures. I also document how I made my first profit online, and how I made it into a consistent income stream.
If you are interested to get your hands on the same opportunities, I have a great recommendation to get you started.
Do note that the article above contains affiliate links, and I’ll make a commission (at no extra costs to you) if you find any of the products useful and buy them.
This is how I make money with affiliate marketing, after all – by introducing people in need (such as you) to relevant and value-adding services (e.g. training to make money from affiliate marketing).
I hope this in-depth Primerica review has been useful to you. Do leave a comment if you have any questions or MLM experience to share, I’d love to hear about it!