You’d Be Wise to Avoid Freedom 55 Financial

We’ve just finished writing a lengthy letter to Freedom 55, owned by London Life, describing their widespread incompetence. I’ve CC’d a number of people within the organization, including the CEO, who has the unlikely name of Raymond L. McFeetors.

I’ll spare you the tedious details, but suffice it say that Freedom 55 Financial did their very best to prevent us from giving them our money. They wasted our time with a half-dozen calls and a face-to-face meeting. They failed to explain their byzantine organizational structure. I received calls from no less than three different organizations–Freedom 55, The Cooperators and Benefits by Design. Worst of all, they advised us to cancel our previous insurance before our current plan was approved and in place.

I know that insurance companies are a racket, but Freedom 55 Financial exceeded my expectations in bureaucracy and general ineptitude.

UPDATE: Because people keep asking for it, here is the letter of complaint we sent. I’ve anonymized it using names of characters from The Sound of Music. Enjoy.

Dear Ms. Schneider,

On Monday, July 25th we spoke about Baroness Laderhosen Inc’s extended health and disability benefits, which had been unsatisfactorily dealt with before our account manager, Rolfe Von Trapp, left for holidays on Friday, July 22nd.

As I explained on the phone, myself and my colleague, Sister Berthe, met with Mr. Von Trapp at your Vancouver offices on Thursday, July 5th to sign final documentation. Furthermore, we gave Freedom 55 a cheque to sign-up for a Freedom 55 extended health and disability plan for Baroness Laderhosen Inc. At that time we were told that everything was in order and that our health plan would begin on August 1st. Mr. Von Trapp advised me at that time that I should cancel Baroness’s existing extended health benefit plan with ManuLife.

Despite knowing from the start that two of the three Baroness employees are married, Mr. Von Trapp called me on July 12th to say that because of the “high family content” we would have to complete medical forms. This delayed the process and Mr. Von Trapp then left on holidays without informing us whether our medical benefits would start on August 1st. In fact, they will not start on August 1st and we no longer have coverage by ManuLife, so we are without coverage.

Our experience with Freedom 55 has been unsatisfactory in the following ways:

* When I signed up with your competitor, ManuLife, all that was required was one form and a 10-minute phone conversation. Conversely, Mr. Von Trapp set up far too many meetings, called me at least five times and required a face-to-face meeting to initiate the benefits plan. As a small business owner this process took far too long and took away from time I could spend with my own clients.

* From the start of the process, Mr. Von Trapp was aware that myself and my business partner, Herr Zeller, are married and so should have had us complete the proper forms before telling us that everything was in order and advising me to cancel our current insurance. By not doing so, he further inconvenienced us and put our insured status at risk.

* Mr. Von Trapp should not have left for holidays without advising us that we would not be covered on August 1st due to his administrative error. He assured us that we would receive an answer regarding our status before his departure. We did not.

* Ms. Schneider told me on Monday, July 25th that this was Freedom 55’s problem to solve and that a new representiative would sort out the problem for us.

* The new representative did call us; we were then contacted by Benefits by Design who told us that our benefits would not start on August 1st. No one from Freedom 55 followed-up with us to find out what had happened, or to apologize for the time that we spent tracking down this information after Mr. Von Trapp left on holidays.

* We were forced to deal with three different agencies–Freedom 55, The Cooperators and Benefits by Design–through the course of this debacle. The relationship between these organizations was never made clear to us, a fact which only compounded our confusion and frustration.

We now have no health coverage for this month and will not be using Freedom 55 for our benefit plan, or recommending Freedom 55 to anyone. In fact, we will go out of our way to describe your organization’s incompetence to our friends and family, and encourage them to spend their money with your competitors.

Please return my cheque along with a written letter of apology. Having spent far too much time on this matter, I do not wish to be contacted by phone by any representatives of Freedom 55. All further correspondence is to be by mail.

Written by dbarefoot

Darren Barefoot is an author, speaker and digital strategist. He’s the co-founder of Capulet Communications, and co-author of “Friends With Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook”.

318 comments

  1. Bore me with the details…I have a policy with them (well one that was started for me when I was a child but is now all mine).

    I’m curious to know more about your experience.

  2. Heather: Send me your email address (darren at darrenbarefoot dot com) and I’ll send you the lengthy, angry letter we sent them.

    1. I can assure you that it was your advisor who was inexperienced and not following company policy. Freedom 55 Financial is an unbelievably respectable company to deal with. They have access to many of the top insurer’s in Canada. I can assure you being an investement advisor myself that Freedom 55 Financial is a very well respected company across the board in the ivestment and insurance industry.

      1. You have got to be kidding. Freedom 55 (85) has one of the worst reputations in the industry for professionalism and integrity! They don’t have advisors they have salesmen. I wouldn’t trust them with my daughter’s babysitting money much less a financial plan. Used car dealers have more integrity

      2. You must be from Primerica Gary. They have the worst reputation. Besides, Im sure they don’t want your daughters baby sitting money anyway. Take it to the sleezy guy who sold you your car!

      3. Freedom 55 is not well respected in any circle, particularly not in finance circles. The flog product and not good product at that. To suggest otherwise is total BS. Deal with Freedom 55 and you’ll pay too much and probably end up with the wrong product.

      4. Kevin you’re a clown. Freedom 55 is widely known as likely the most recognized brand is Canada. To say that’s it not respected in any circle, is giving your opinion. If your opinion is that Frredom 55 flogs products and they products are overpriced, than say that.

        I can tell you… because I am informed is their 10 yr term insurance is amongst the most competively priced, and they ahve the bigger par account. Market leaders do not build their product to be the biggest without having a solid reputation and have good product. I think you should state that you don’t really know what you are talking about. If it’s mutual funds you are referring to, F55F reps can sell almost anyones product including companies like TD, RBC which are well known to have low cost MERs, and the reps can sell F class funds, etc… Again, you are stating stuff that is simply not true.

        There are good reps and bad reps with F55F and every other company out there.

    2. Great article Darren. If you only knew how Freedom 55 financial was set up/run, you would cringe.

      The reason for their widespread incompetence is due to the fact that there are no requirements for new hires and there is only a 3 week training program required to start!! And during these three weeks employees are simply taught sales-scripts and other selling tools. No training or thought is given to ensuring Grade A service and ADVICE to clients.

      Keep up the great work!

      1. Sorry Curtis. You are simply wrong! Freedom 55 Financial has the best training in the industry by far!
        Not sure where you got your information but probably from someone you work with who is known as “Mr. Know it all”

        In fact F55 aligns each advisor with a Director who works joint field work with the advisor. They focus on retention over a four year period not three weeks! Each advisor has access to specialist that work in each product line to help insure that each prospect or client is not ony getting the best advice, but ongoing planning advice now and in the future.

        Sorry to hear you have had a bad experience, Thousands of Canadians have had a very positive experience.

        Take the time to learn all the good things F55 is doing to help Canadians and stop dwelling on a few bad experiences with the “Know it all”s”

      2. Great reply Dan. It’s unfortunate that these indiiduals paint all F55 advisors with the same brush. Regardless of where an individual goes to invest their money, they will find inferior advisors everywhere. At least F55 advisors are trained in a variety of product lines and are positioned as brokers as opposed to banks who are more of a car salesman than anybody else selling their products only. F55 advisors as you mentioned do have the best training in the industry and far exceed the knowledge of all other financial institutions including IG, Sun, Manu. If someone was so ignorant to purchase something from a F55 advisor they thought was inferior, then they must be well trained to have sold the product!

  3. This week I asked my mortgage broker for a referral to an insurance broker and he passed on two, one of whom was a guy named Amadeus at Freedom 55 in Vancouver. After reading your brief comments I’m pretty sure I’ll be calling the other referral instead, but I’d be interested in your experience with f55 if you’d be willing to share it.

    1. Stay away from anyone who is affiliated with, or works directly for Freedom 55 Financial. Terrible products, sold by terrible (car) salesmen.

  4. Hey Darren, this is interesting. I recently purchased insurance from A Freedom 55 Financial advisor, I would like to see the letter you wrote to them. Cause the guy i talked to was pretty cool and informative. He new his staff.

  5. I stand by Freedom 55 Financial as the knowledge and level of service I have received has been nothing but outstanding. It’s unfortunate that you had an incompetent person to deal with…..but I assure you….there are some good apples out there!

    1. It is not Freedom 55 Financial that you have a problem with it is 1 advisor. I know that it is a large company and with any large company there are going to be bad apples! I think it is unfair that you are putting the blame on Freedom 55 Financial when it is obvious that it is 1 advisor or a couple of advisors that was the problem. I have a Freedom 55 Financial advisor and think it is a great organization.

    2. Well said. The company supplies the products. The advisor provides the advice. When serching for an advisor you should search for some credentials. Does your advisor have a CFP? CA? CLU? Etc? This should prove some credibility as they have shown some dedication to their career and are not in the business to make a quick buck.

      1. Tamara, I can appreciate your point of view. Although, the letters behind a person’s name does not mean they are any better with their clients’ and placing their clients’ needs first. You need to know how to treat people and respect their position with integrity. I am an advisor with the company and the respect must be first. If you do not have the basic moral fibre yourself than this business is not for you to be servicing clientele. The other side of this whole situation is did the complaintant address the issues he/she has with the person directly? As Darren said below, “I suggest you give someone else in the orgainization a chance!” Kudos to you Darren! Darren is an example of why our office is very relivant.

      2. Tammy, you are only defending the none designated advisor because you are one. I agree that designations do not guarantee ethics, but if someone has put in the effort to understand their “job” better and has made the effort, I certainly believe that lessen the likelihood of them being just a sales person. If someone has been in the business for 5 yrs plus and has no designations… why is that? Is it because they do not think being informed is importnat for their clients? Don’t take the job seriously, think that adding credentials is not important… what possible reason could their be for not deepening our knowledge in your chosen career especially when dealing directly with the public??

      3. Actually… Marc… you must be one of the public, and not an advisor. What Tammy is saying is very true, and insightful. As an advisor myself, full-service, I thought what you thought before, and iniitally. After servicing clients, I found out, designations mean shit. I’ve seen advisors with CGA designations f* their clients, and the client never knew. NEVER knew, until I walked in. It does show something though, a pre-cursor to doing busines, yes, but to do business- none at all. In my opinion. It’s education, then designation, then experience, all on what tammy says, built on morals.

        In my experience over the last decade, anyone from F55, or was from F55 previously have lacked that moral thread, and were crooks. IMO. I’m sure there are many who aren’t, but in my time, IN the industry have not met one. They’re talkers, and salesmans. I don’t know if it’s just my luck, or is it the company that attracts those types of people.

      4. What Tammy is saying is ridiculous and obviously you are a non designated advisor as well. Your 3 points are all covered by designations (education, designation, experience). I certainly stand by what I said… it guarantees nothing, but why would someone spend time studying for a designation if they did not want to do the job properly? They would likely stay non designated.

        To say that all the people you have met from F55F lacked moral thread is also ridiculous and to me speaks to a guy (YOU) that has no character and integrity and tries to lower others to make themselves better. Really, what you should do is work on your career and try to add value to your client relationship and not put down those you compete against… seems very petty.

  6. Darren,

    I am sorry you had such a poor experience. I am a Freedom 55 advisor and I take great pride in the service I provide. I make sure I understand my clients needs, both short and long term and work with them to achieve their goals. I must admit, I have seen some inadequate people with little or no simple reasoning, but that goes for any company in any industry. Instead of bashing the company, you should be directing your frustration towards the individual. That way no one else will deal with him/ her. I suggest you give someone else in the organization another chance! I realize you are in BC,I am in Ontario, but if you would like I can pass you on to someone that takes their clients needs a little more seriously.

    1. I am in B.C. and over the past 5 years I have experienced some very poor results from my representative. Most recent example. I asked on Sep. 14 2010 as to why my three mutual funds had stopped paying dividends since 2007. Approx. three weeks have passed and I HAVE YET TO RECEIVE A REPLY! I have not called back as I am waiting to see just how long it will take.
      I ask you ,could you please direct me to someone at your head office so I could inform them as to this and previous incompetence, as it reflects very poorly on London Life.

      Cheers;
      Doug

      1. Submit to the MFDA if you hear nothing from head office.

        I’m a Freedom 55 Advisor and I can tell you I call my clients back(All 150 of them) within an hour of a phone call. I think the most time I ever took to call someone back to atleast say I got your call and am looking into it was 1 day and thats because my mother had died.

        It really does depend on the advisor, the company is setup so that every advisor is buying a franchise and they can run that franchise as they see fit. I personally run mine as a Financial Planner, my CFP will be complete soon and I took FULL advantage to all the training they offered. Which by the way for those who think there is none is incredible. First year advisors are required to do 12 hours a WEEK of training plus the training is 8 weeks, not 3 weeks as stated.

        I worked for RBC before and I can tell you Freedom 55 is leaps and BOUNDS better. However as said, it depends on the advisor. I’m currently in the process of taking over business from an advisor that was pretty wishy washy. Was trying to hard sell clients insurance policies they couldnt afford and just pushing non stop for things that would pay him 5 grand paychecks but wouldnt solve the problem effectively.

        My manager has been with the company over 20 years and has a lot of pull with head office, if you give me your info i can have him drop it on the top of the pile if you like.

        I really think your best bet is to walk into the office and ask to speak to the VP of the branch then tell him you dont want to be with your advisor and to find you someone who is good because otherwise you’ll be complaining to the MFDA for nonservicing. Believe me once you get the right person you’ll be smiling ear to ear.

        I get minimum 3-4 referrals a year from each client because they’re so happy, and I dont think I’m the exception to the rule.

  7. Darren, sorry to read you have had issues with the company. I am a Director for Freedom 55 Financial in BC. It is always unfortunate to see that you have had a bad experience. On behalf of myself and the company, I apologize. I would like to know more about your situation, and what had transpired. Though there are always misunderstanding in any business, I truly believe in the integrity of my eleven years with the company and what it represents. Please feel free to send me an email. Thanks

  8. Darren, I’m applying to Freedom 55 now due to shady dealings by the likes of RBC and AIG. Before I do so however, I’d really like to know more about your experience. Would you be so kind to advise? Thanks.

  9. Darren,
    I was planning on applying for Freedom 55, but happened upon your site. I am extremely interested in the incident you described, especially after reading the comments posted by actual Freedom 55 advisors. I would really like to know about your experience with them, and your recommendations for an alternate institution.
    Thanks for your time,
    Sarah- Calgary

  10. I used to work for F55F. It is a massive pyramid scheme. The goal is to sell you a whole-life policy with a high monthly premium. The commissions on mutual funds are so low that an advisor would need millions of dollars under management to derive any kind of meaningful income. Therefore, most advisors will push the life insurance that garners them the highest commission. They keep a board in the office with each advisor’s commissions for all his colleagues to see. The name of the game is to earn commissions. An advisor’s value is not measured in how effectively he achieves his client’s goals, but on how much commission he earns in a year. Most advisors don’t have finance degrees or any degree at all for that matter. I am now pursuing a law practice in which I sue advisors for breaching their fiduciary duties to their clients by putting them into financial products that do not fit their needs. You would be surprised at how inept most advisors are at steering their client’s assets into the right products. The only way to avoid these pyramid schemes is to find an independent financial planner who works on a fee basis instead of commissions. Under the fee basis he charges you a fee up front to design and implement the financial plan. but you still need to do your own research and understand how he gets paid. Good luck.

    1. umm…wouldn’t this just be more of an issue regarding ethics rather than the business being a pyramid scheme? It’s not like they’re MLM or anything.

    2. Wow! To all of you commenting, please remember to do your homework. I am with Freedom 55. I agree that the commisions are mostly likely high, but what I get in return is worth what my advisor gets. It is always very important to check with Alberta Securities to make sure your advisor is registered. Then at least if something hsppens you have some recourse.

      1. I work for F55 on the administrative side and have seen many different types of advisors over the years. Yes you will get a few that are just out of the gate so to speak, but the entire company should not be bashed for one advisor that didn’t take his business seriously. Each advisor works independently as a business owner, and the majority that I work with are there to help people and do a good job for the clients they meet. I’ve also worked for Edward Jones, and that is a different business all in itself. No matter where you go, the bank or IG or F55, you might, unfortunately stumble across someone that is only in it to gain for themselves, but for the most part the advisors at F55 really are there for the clients.

    3. so what is it about the whole life policy that you don’t like? Please assist me in a company that has a better whole life policy then London Life’s 20 pay. I don’t care if the advisor is making money on this or not. Is it a good product for me? I have a brain and intend to use it when making a financial decision. My guess is you couldn’t sell and that’s the reason you left the field. The 20 pay London Life Policy is an amazing product. An advisor should get paid well for selling it as it is a huge part( for the right person) of a person’s financial plan. Shouldn’t be oversold, but also shouldn’t be undersold. An awesome product and the only one of it’s kind. Manulife had to basically stop selling their product because they were losing money on it. Year in and year out london life has produced results from this product. If you can’t sell this product to the right person, you should go be a lawyer

      1. Greg, in the industry there is no such thing as a good Whole Life. email me for more details. But basically you could do better putting your money into a sock drawer as far as the investments side of it is concerned.

    4. Here we go… I am also an advisor with F55F and can assure you that what Jack is saying is not true. It is obvious that Jack was not a successful salesperson and now it’s London Life’s fault. I am also confident in the training Jack received… show me another company that sends their advisors to their head office for 6 weeks and than has a person work directly with them for over 1 yr. After that all advisors have a manager to support them. I have been with F55F for well in excess of 15 years and can assure you that you can make bundles of money selling both life insurance and investments. I make close to 7 figures. What Jack forgets to mention is that with F55F and most other companies you are a self employed business person who is responsible for yourself. You are responsible for selling the appropriate product to the appropriate person. I am happy to see you no longer work for F55F if you were trying to sell the wrong product to your prospect. You made the sales (well maybe not many); you are responsible for what you did. 15 years ago, my manager also wanted me to sell more life insurance, but I believed it was my responsibility and having personal integrity would not sell the wrong product to my prospect/client as I firmly believe that if you sell the wrong thing to the wrong person it will bite you later. I am happy to hear that your lack of personal integrity and not doing what was best for your client, ultimately ended up with you no longer out selling the wrong thing to the wrong person.

      I know this is a society problem, where there is no accountability, but before blaming everyone else for what you did wrong, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror.

      The reason business people like myself are so successful year in year out is because we work hard, have a passion for what we do, and understand who really is the most important part of our engagement… not the company you represent but the clients you service.

      Thank God not everyone understands this or does this well.. if they did it would make it way harder to be successful.

    5. I’m sorry but you’re 100% wrong. I work there now and I have been here a few years and have no issue making money on investments.

      Commission is 2.5% plus bonuses on all investments DSC. I lay that out for my clients so they know what I make.

      If you do FEL 0 then you make nothing up front but get higher trailers.

      And it really isn’t that hard to build up 2 million of assets under management. Most the advisors in their first year pull in 600k fairly easily. Thats only 6 middle aged families.

      And as for selling whole life, nobody is forcing us to sell whole life. If i want to tell my clients to do Term and invest the rest I can, although its a stupid setup because nobody ever actually invests the rest.

      As Marc said its your business, the fact that you failed isn’t anyone elses fault but your own. Marc and I both do well not because we hard sell but because we’re active in our communities. Many people know me and therefore many people call me for advice which i give whether they’re my clients or not.

      Clearly you were in the business to make money and thats it, wrong reasons my friend especially when you’re lazy. If you want to rip people off go work for IG.

      More than likely LL fired him for not working hard enough for his clients, I know a few in my office have been.

  11. LADIES – STAY WAY FROM FREEDOM 55 FINANCIAL, LONDON LIFE AND GREAT WEST LIFE!! These dinosaurs don’t know what century we are in!

    I inherited a large sum of money and called Freedom 55 Financial for advice on investing it. The male advisor (I’ll call him “Macho”) spent the entire meeting talking directly to my husband. When I asked a question, Macho answered briefly talking to me as though I were an idiot (I have a Masters degree).

    Macho recorded details about us in a blue and white booklet. My husband was the “client” and I was the “co-client”. When I pointed out that I was the one who contacted the company and I was the primary investor, Macho replied “it is standard procedure to list the wife as a co-client, we were told by management to do it this way.”

    Two days later, I called Macho to ask another question and left a voicemail message with my cell number. Macho returned the call by contacting my husband at his work.

    I also wanted to purchase critical illness insurance but could not imagine providing intimate health details to such an ignorant, biased person.

    I’m now fully invested and insured with a modern and enlightened company.

    Darren, please send me your letter. I want to write one of my own to these neanderthals.

    1. I find it funny how you call them ignorant and neanderthals when you’re going to file a complaint that represents the whole company instead of this “macho”…lol

      1. Phong, I suggest that you pay attention to what you are reading.
        “we were told by management to do it this way.”
        Does this not imply that it is a company issue? I know that the advisor was probably lying, how is a client unfamilar with the company suppose to know what is a lie and what is the truth.
        Based on what people, that I know who have dealt with F55 advisors, have said is that many of them will say just about anything and in each case swear that it is normal company policy.

    2. It’s not company policy, you just have an idiot for an advisor. I have a policy with a F55F advisor and I am listed as the client, and my husband as the co-client. Not a big deal and certainly not company policy.

  12. I believe that this post is being misleading in a number of different ways. First, advisors through Freedom 55 Financial are all self employed. As with any group on individuals some will be very skilled at what they do and others not so skilled. Second, I work for F55 and no where in our office is there any form of “board” where advisors comissions are displayed for all to see. That is just untrue.

    Go ahead and google complaints on F55 and see what you come up with. This is the only complaint.

    I have a feeling that the advisor that was being dealt with may have been misinformed and was just doing his best to understand the situation he was dealing with much to the dismay of the client. Certain steps must be followed to insure that the best end result will be obtained.

  13. Rick: All I did was report my experience as a consumer. Clearly I’m not alone, check out comment #13 above.

  14. No doubt there are unhappy consumers in every aspect of every busines in the business world. If there weren’t there would be no need for competitors.

    In this day of technology and 98% of western civilization having access to the internet I think it would be a safe assumption that there aren’t a lot of dissatified people as far as Freedom 55 Financial is concerned. I see only two on this particular site. Not a bad record I’d say.

    It really is too bad that there are any but unfortunatly one cannot control the every action of every employee, be them a representative or an direct employee, under thier banner. There are a lot of good people working under the F55 banner, myself included.

    I am truly sorry about your experience and hope that you have found someone that has met your needs.

  15. Dear Darren:

    I am reading what you wrote and asking myself if you are complaining because the advisor from Freedom 55 was working harder for you than Manulife? Personally, I would rather deal with a company that takes the time to call me and meet with me, not send me a form and make a phone call. This leads me to beleive that maybe you were not as cooperative as you should have been and did not provide the proper information.

    A company does not just offer disability benefits with just a phone call, Manulife would have had to look at past claims experience and gathered some information. Benefits are not done over the phone and you are complaining that the advisor was working too hard and too many companies were working to get you benefits.

    There is a lot that does not add up with this story. Companies do not just offer benefits to anyone. Information has to be gathered, then submitted for a quotation, then the quotation is presented to client and finally a contract must be signed and witnessed (face-to-face)

    To people reading this, there is something very wrong with this persons story and there is more than meets the eye.

    Is is possible you tried to pull a fast one, got caught and now a little bitter?

  16. Gordan: You can speculate and conjecture all you want. That was my experience, and I’ve got the correspondance from Freedom 55 to back it up. I’ve respected the Freedom 55 people’s privacy by not publishing that correspondance.

    As for the ads, those are Google AdSense ads published by third parties. They change all the time, and it’s no surprise that Manulife would advertise on a page that mentions their organization. Freedom 55 ought to be doing the same thing (and maybe they are, I pay very little attention to which ads get served).

  17. Interesting stuff.

    I worked at F55 for over 20 years and I can attest to the following :

    1) Insurance sales is their key goal because Whole Life insurance product sales for F55 is very , very profitable. No , they do not compensate their reps. very well on investment products because they believe their customers should spend every spare cent on Whole Life insurance. The Agent’s Contract with F55 is very ‘directional’ in this regard.

    2) Their structure is ‘pyramid-like’ in nature , with layers and layers of management and administration , all of whom get compensated from the agents’ efforts. This results in products that are way over-priced.

    3) Their management style is ‘management by fear’ and it’s either their way or the highway. I chosse the highway because I am now able to offer my clients many more choices via brokerage services. Working for the Nazi’s would have been more rewarding.

    Caveat Emptor all ….

    1. Mark, point 1) is simply not true. We had a presentation from the VP of Life Insurance marketing and she confirmed that LL does not make any real profit on their flagship whole life product (20 pay life) until year 21. What other company do you know takes that kind of liability on. Yes, some of their other permanent products are more profitable. I can also tell you most life insurance companies make money on 10 yr term insurance… in year 11. Think about that. Rates have came down so much, they are not even profitable. The only way they become profitable unfortunately is due to 1) either poor service by the advisor. I know guys that have 3000 clients, good luck servicing that many clients. If the advisors actually saw their clients before the renewal the company would not even make any profit on 10 yr term insurance. 2) Clients that renew their product. Some people just don’t want to bother with a new medical, even though it likely will save them allot of $$ and will cost the insurance company likely all their profits. 10 yr term is really a lost leader for an insurance company.

      The companies all make money on Universal Life, and you take all the investment risk. This product reminds me allot of group RRSPs and why they came to be so popular. In the olden days, most companies had pension plans and they company took the investment risk. When investments started to under-perform, most companies decided they did not want to take investment risk and the boom for group RRSPs began. I certainly believe in minimum funded UL, or funded with GICs, but funding with mutual or seg funds is extremely expensive way to invest. many UL products charge a premium on top of the MERS that mutual fund already has. I have seen UL total costs at over 4% for an equity mutual fund within the plan, that is highway robbery. Consumers need to understand that. The 20 pay life for LL has an MERS well under 1% (in fact I have heard it at .6% or even less.

      What consumers need is the truth, the information that allows them to make an informed decision. My guess is that 90% of advisors in Canada do not know or have the ability to show their clients the choices available to them when purchasing insurance. That is why you shown seek the advice of an expert, and not someone who does this half assed. Your future is too important to get bad advice, find a reputable advisor. Ask him to explain the various options. A easy question to determine if your advisor is some what educated… is asked he/her to explain to you the 250% rule on Universal Life and how that works when looking at your choices. If he/she does not know what your talking about or can not explain it, run away and find someone that can answer that question. This (in my opinion) is a good gauge of the competence of your advisor. My guess is 90% of advisors in Canada can’t explain or simply do not know about this rule. that should give you a good start in finding someone decent. After that ask him the question I listed later on… I think there was 10 questions or so, if you like the answers you likely have a good advisor.

  18. Good evening Darren. I just happened upon this site doing a search of my own. I am an Advisor with Freedom 55 and find most, but as is the case with all industries and companies, not all representatives to be qualified to represent a given profession.
    It is unfortunate when problems arise but we are all imperfect in more ways than one, myslelf included.
    I take great pride in my service and competance, as do most, but in some case we are bound to fall short from time to time – I guess the question then becomes who will admit it an prepare a viable solution.

    Thinking out loud.
    Best to you and yours. Take care.

  19. I find it very interesting that advisors who “worked” for the F55F company bad mouth them but don’t give full name, and the ones who are supporting the company positively, are giving full name, email addresses, etc. It is very easy on the internet to stay anominous and bad mouth people. Or even make stuff up and say this happened to me. At least Darren has given an actual example, and his real name. Our company is not a pyramid scheme like “Jack” says it is. I wish it was because I would be really rich by now after twelve years. Also, our company doesn’t post commissions on a board as it is a violation of privacy to commuicate what someone earns. We do have recognition for advisors; however, it is based on a total of many things we do for clients. For example, if we accomodate a clients portfolio from say ABC Financial, we actualy don’t receive a commission, but do receive recognition for helping a client and doing business. Also, to dispell a myth, we don’t have any quotas for selling whole life insurance. We sell term, universal, and whole life from several different companies. We can have an advisor who sells nothing but Manulife or Sunlife term insurance and we as a company our fine with that. There is no quota for London Life,as per our intercorporate agreement. In fact, there is no quota to sell any type of insurance. We have advisors who make a good living just selling investments and retirement plans. If anyone has questions about our company, I would love to take any calls or concerns. I am a Director in the Vancouver Fraser Valley office. My number is 604-585-2424 Ext 239 or email todd.babcock@freedom55financial.com

  20. It’s interesting that when similar complaints are made about AIG/Altig (a company with an almost identical business model), employees of said company immediately come to the company and business model’s defence, offering the exact same justifications – “we can’t control our employees”, “you’re bound to get bad apples”, “overall X company is a really upright company”. Yet both AIG/Altig and Freedom 55 Financial are notorious for soliciting job seekers on large job boards. You have to assume that if they were really a company that people actually wanted to work for, and could actually achieve stability at, they wouldn’t have to recruit so aggressively. The whole every-employee-is-a-recruiter model seems very, very poor to me, and the complaints I keep reading about these types of companies confirms this.

  21. i work for a fortune 500 company and they keep phoning me ( freedom 55 ) to go to work for them. i don’t want to but they just don’t get! i believe you about your experience!

  22. Darren

    I too am sorry for the bad experience you had with that particular advisor. I am an advisor with Freedom 55 Financial and as much as I do hate to say it, there are a few bad apples in the bunch. But I feel that this is the case with any occupation be it professional or otherwise.

    I do have a long list of clients that are quite happy with the service I provide and have a 100% retention rate. I suffice to say that we all take a rather unique approach when dealing with our clients and with that being said I feel that the honest and upfront, not to forget ethical approach is proper.

    Again, sorry for your aggravation.

  23. Brad:

    Freedom 55 Financial has upwards of a 90% turnover rate. They spend so much effort on recruiting because the “career” is a revolving door. That’s why they keep calling you. They even give a $500 incentive for any advisor who recruits a new hire.

    They need to spend their time recruiting used-car salesmen, because those seem to be the ones who stick it out. Most of the advisors don’t even have post-secondary degrees. That’s because no one with options would actually waste his time at Freedom 55.

    1. So true! I have a friend who started with them a year ago! No education at all. all he had to do was write an exam and he was in. They require no education because they don’t care, if YOU don’t sell YOU do not make money! My buddy is broke and doesn’t understand why..lol… its a pyramid scheme to the fullest… Anyone thinking of working for this bullshit, stay away!!

    2. First off i also work for Freedom 55, and they are not a pyramid scheme, they actually care about the clients and staff, after working for 23 years in the banks i had enought of just being a number, regarding the referral fee for recruits, each bank does the same thing, and a pyramid scheme takes commissions from employees and pays them upward, Freedom 55 does not in any way shape or form do that nor do they allow it, if a manager would try to share or split commissions with an advisor that is cause for immediate dismissal under their contract. what freedom has is a bonus structure for all levels of people, who doesn’t these days, nothing wrong with incentives even lawyers have them Darren they are in the form of billable hours the more you bill the more the senior partners reward you, dont tell me they are all fully accounted for. in 29 years of financial services work experience i have enjoyed 2 seperate careers one with a major trust company and am now very happy with Freedom 55. the career and company are great for the right people, and by the way the 4 year retention rate in the industry is about 17% whereas freedom 55 is at about 34% my particular region is at 50%,

  24. I and my husband have been with freedom 55 for some 30 years. We have not had any bad dealings with them. It is now time fro my husband to take an early retirement due to poor health and our Freedom 55 advisor has been working with us and for us to get the best possible financial situation from our policies with them and from other financial businesses including the RBC and where my husband is employed. Yes we have had a few phone calls and visits with our advisor, but to set up the best financial portfolio for us this is necessary. We have nothing but praise and gratitude for this much successful company,Freedom 55. Whereas, we have been taking advantage of with the RBC and our children have had an extremely bad experience with Manulife and will no longer deal with them. They too are considering doing their financial business with Freedom 55.
    Perhaps as one other commentor said, you might have been just a bit too hasty in your judgment and not either given the advisor all the information required or given incomplete or misleading information. An advisor can only get what is best for you if he/she has all the correct information to work with. It does take time and phone calls between you and the advisor to make things work and to get results.
    In closing, maybe in future be a little more cooperative and less hasty in getting what you want and what is best for your and your family.

  25. To be honets and frank with everyone. My experiences with Freedom 55 have been top notch. As a matter of fact it served my family very well after my wife died.
    Your comments are quite irrelevant, and you should have also held your own weight (you’re a client, but you still have to dot your I’s and cross your T’s..it’s called responsibility, you must understand everyone is human, and mistakes can happen. You must take steps to ensure your communication is open. You probably were out golfing or something.
    I feel be-littled because i have my complete faith in them, and your comments seem to hint that anyone who deals with them are “dumb”.
    Write and book and keep your tantrums to yourself. I feel bad for your bad situation, but realize….people’s dreams and security are in these people’s hands, and your one situation should not scare anyone into “panic mode”. Think about it.

  26. After reading all of the comments and letters, it leads me to believe that not only did a Darren try and pull a fast one over Freedom 55, but there are a couple of ex-employees that were probably at home playing video games or sending blogs when they should have been working. Therefore probably made a below average income and have decided to blame the company for theirlack ofdrive and inititive. Give it up people and get on with your lives. The glass is half full!

  27. I just spent the last 15 minutes reading all the comments for and against F55 and I think Darren is a little off base in his analysis of an entire company’s function. Anyone (yes you Darren) that would prefer to be sold a financial product over the phone in 5 minutes as opposed to having a advisor come take the time to develop a fully fuctioning and diverse financial plan with you face to face obviously doesn’t understand the fine points of the business, and one might go as far to say isn’t that bright to begin with. If I’m going to invest my money in a financial product, whatever it may be, I want to meet with the person that is going to guide me in that regard – not spend 5 minutes on the phone with them and cut a check to a faceless voice over the phone. In our lifetimes we will all meet an endless stream of naysayers and malcontents that do nothing above and beyond grunting and moaning about all the bad experiences they’ve had. It’s much easier to jump on the bandwagon and piss and moan about how you were screwed. The fact of the matter is that you likely were dealing with an advisor that lacked the necessary skills to meet your needs. There are thousands of F55 advisors out there that are fully capable and highly skilled in their profession that would have been more than willing I;m sure to provide you with the services you needed. And it;s true what a few of the other people on here have said – you can’t control every advisor, and if this particular advisor is so inept then it’s fair to say that he’s received further complaints from other clients and has likely been repremanded – as is outlined in the code of ehtics (standard training as any F55 advisor will tell you). In essence, I would have to agree with others on here that are of the opinion that Darren was either not playing with a full deck of cards, or that he wasn’t presenting all the relevant info to the advisor. I’m training with F55 as we speak and I’ve been nothing short of blown away with their competence and attention to every little detail of the business. The bottom line is this: it’s not hard to find an inexperienced, inept, “used-car salesman” to sell you a bunch of garbage policies – you can find them in all areas of the profession. But to go as far to expressly state that the entire F55 company is a racket or scam or whatever is totally offbase. Get your facts straight before going out of your way to defame people that take pride in what they do, which is providing financial services to meet the needs of their clients. And so what if the advisor is receiving compensation or remuneration in the form of commissions on units of product sold – most companies do! Almost all sales firms function in this manner and no one seems to be blogging up a storm crapping all over the entire business sector! Darren, I think you’re a sad litte man with too much time on your hands and a sour taste in your mouth from doing business with a PERSON not a COMPANY that didn’t meet your expectations. Learn the difference between the two and try and be a little more objective in you commentary.

    Positve things happen to positve people – keep that in mind!

  28. Don’t trust working for a pyramid scheme company like this, where the regional director says he laughs at people who can’t make money in this business.

    1. I laugh at people who cant make money in this business too. Its really easy, learn how products work in general, meet people, take information back to office, sit with the specialists the provide for you, discuss options, build plan, bring back to client, client decides what they want to do, you implement, client signs, you cash cheque, continue keeping the client happy and informed and you keep getting cheques.

      If you cant make money in this business im sorry to say its because you’re too lazy to put in the work. Its a TON of work, but it pays well and those of us who are successful go to sleep every night happy we’ve helped people. My only worry is that I havent helped enough people to make the difference i want to make in my city.

  29. in response to Todd Babcock:

    during campaigns, advisors’ names are listed with the amount of sales they do, and commissions are posted.

    in discussing business models, directors use plans to ‘tell’ new advisors how much they should be making. they are walked through it.

    the Regional Director for western canada says in his welcoming speech that ON AVERAGE, an advisor makes more than “40, 50, 60 thousand” a year.

    even my director said later that there is a difference between the mean and the average.

    in general this business is a tough one, and one based on sales. it doesn’t matter if you are with aig or clarica.

    my comments above are from my own experience at f55 in vancouver.

  30. I am very satisfied with my advisor. Duncan has provided both my husband and I with a clear understanding of what Freedom 55 offers and especially the whole life policy.

    We are in the process of purchasing one and there are many benefits for couples to look at this option. My husband will be retiring full pension at 52…Our advisor stated that instead of taking a survivor pension, he should take his full pension and take out a whole life policy to off set the need to take a reduction in his pension and in the event of his death, I would receive his insurance policy to cover my needs. After talking with some family members who are in the banking business, they indicated they thought it was a great idea. The premium for the policy is approx $150.00 per month. The loss to him in his pension if he took a survivors pension would be close to $700.00. I would also like to note that insurance premiums are expensive, but if you look at what we pay for car insurance in BC…this is a steal…same thing in our eyes…Thanks Duncan for your wisdom.

  31. Freedom 55 “Financial Advisors” are nothing but glorified sales people!

    Unfortunately, I found out the hard way, as I was employed as one of these “Financial Advisors” for 3 years. The organization does not properly support its employees and requires them to subscribe to expensive office space and rental of laptop computers.

    Right now, there is something fishy going on because there is money going missing from some of the company’s offices and the blame is being put on some former employees. Having no access to their old client files, these former employees find themselves being harassed to produce some documentation that Freedom 55 won’t help them locate.

    Do not invest with Freedom 55 or buy a life insurance policy with them until more information is available about these missing funds (this is a big secret but many at Freedom 55 are aware of this going on).

    1. Imagine another unsuccessful business owner blaming everyone but himself. Yes it is your fault you were not successful. Hey if it rains tomorrow who’s fault is that. If you cheat on your wife, I know it’s her fault.

      Now go work for the bank or the government where you will be paid your worth. The bank will continue to make record profits, they’ll pay you very little because if they pay you too much, their profits will drop. You’ll have no potential to earn a significant income, have a boss you;ll have to kiss up to, and work on weekends instead of having that time to be with your family.

      Yes you are right, F55F is a scam, imagine a company that allows you to build your own business, own your revenue stream, allow you to sell that revenue stream or not, and every year you build up that GUARANTEED revenue stream. Mine is now well over $200,000 /yr not counting any new sales and I am not even 40 yet. Again, if you had a business plan when you went into business (instead of blaming everyone), you could have worked that plan to your benefit, F55F’s benefit and most importantly your client’s benefit. Anything worth having is not given to you… well maybe not in all case, maybe you are like another of the guys on this post, that Mommy and Daddy will give them their business and they will be on easy street… He will act like he hit a home run, but really he was born on third base.

      Come on people let’s be honest… Those that work hard, have a plan, work the plan and ultimately understand what their client base is looking for will be successful in business, those that think it just happens, will never be successful.

      You need conviction, passion, work ethic, a little luck, some vision, determination, resiliency, motivation to be successful in business and you must action all those components every day to be successful. If you think it will just happen, or someone will give it to you, you are sadly mistaken.

      1. Marc, if you read this, would you write me an email? I’d love to chat up and pick your brain a little. I’m considering joining F55, inspired by Stephen Pustai’s story. Thanks.

  32. Re: Darren’s letter sent to Freedom 55.

    I am an advisor with a competing company, but feel it is my duty to ‘inform’ the general public of Darren’s obvious ignorance.

    Freedom 55 doesn’t even have their own Group Benefits product. Freedom 55’s advisors act as brokers in this area, and have to use other companies products to implement a group benefit plan.

    There are great advisors with every company, and there are TERRIBLE advisors with every company….I’m sorry to hear you’ve had an experience with one of the not so great advisors out there.

  33. Freedom 55 is a huge scam. They run a shady business with little or no ethics. Although I have had my own negative experiences years ago I want to share the experience my sister had 2 weeks ago. My sister is 30 years old and works as a waitress in Ottawa. She has been investing monthly with F55 for +/- 5 years because a mutual friend joined the company and convinced her to move her business to him. Long story short…he quit after 1 year and she was automatically transferred to someone else. Her new rep turned out to be a dud but she stuck it out. Guess what? He quit too. She was again transferred by default to another rookie. This guy turned out to be totally unprofessional and started sending her random email from his personal account with vacation pictures, etc. She became annoyed and frustrated that she was investing her money with a company that hires fly by night investors who act unprofessionally. She finally decided that she had had enough and transferred her investments (about 10K) to CIBC only to discover after the fact that F55 charged her $800 to do so. The $800 is more than she made in investing her hard earned money over 5 years with F55. She called and called and called but was just ignored or told to get lost.

    It is a total scam…buyer beware…at least the big banks are accountable!

    1. Now that’s a joke. Big banks accountable! Let me know how many times the bank calls your sister for a review of her investments due to the change in the economy or changes in her life. Also you stated that your sister dealt with many advisors with F55F. let me know how many different people at the bank she deals with over the lifetime of her investments there.

      It is also impossible to have paid $800 in DSC fees on a transfer of $10,000.00 The maximum DSC fee for any F55F fund is 5.5%. Please spare us the lies!

  34. haha you guys are funny. This guys just called me for an interview, they seen my resume on workopolios. I am not rooting for the company, because I already have another job. But,yeah, I know financial companies are pricks sometimes, but the majority of you people are basing your hate-on towards the company, ever think that it is that single representative that you delt with?? Your never going to find a financial institution that isnt wanting your money…thats just business..if you have a problem, don’t talk with your advisor, goto his/her boss…that’s only if you want results….best of luck everybody

  35. Wade, you are totally right! Everyone here talks about a bad experience with a representative. Only few mention the company problems, but if we go to the store, gas station or any other business, idiots are all over,

  36. Warning to all thinking of buying any services from Freedom 55. They asked to meet with me for the third interview (the first two interviews they tell me that I’ll be making $250,000 per year and talk to me about when they started their paycheques were astronomical and bought mansions within the second year of working)—if only you all knew how they hire AND LIE(I do not have any degrees of anything I didn’t even finish high school) — in a nutshell they demand that I submit form of literally hundreds of my own contacts so they can figure out if I’m going to generate business for them and then they tell me that if I don’t know anyone then this is not a job for me. Its like being hired onto a car dealership where they want your family to buy a car and if no one shows up you are out the door. They seem all professional but from the looks of it they are far from being that. I would NEVER ask any of my family members OR FRIENDS OR ANYONE THAT I KNOW FOR THAT MATTER to receive services from this company at all b/c they deceive people. I work in my family’s business we own a butcher shop in Woodbridge ONTARIO for close to 23 years I am basically set for life— I just went to see if it was true of what they told me over the phone. There is so much more to say but I don’t want to waste any more of my time and yours. STAY CLEAR OF FREEDOM 55 IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE AND YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE!!!!!!!CRAP CRAP AND MORE CRAP OH AND LIES TOO. ITS A CULT I SAY– A CULT.

    1. Paul, must be nice. Get a business your Dad built without doing any of the hard work. As a representative for F55F I can tell you only 33% of business successful goes to the next generation. Now as a financial advisor for F55F we could help you and your Dad plan that succession successful, help move money out of your corporation tax efficiently, help with equalization for any other siblings in your family that did not get the golden egg, help you understand if/when you need a Hold co, when a family trust would be beneficial…. heck we can have even helped your Dad pay for your post secondary school (if you had) with zero tax.

      Now that is planning. Again I certainly earn close to 7 figures because of my vast knowledge of financial matters. I can also tell you your business will not last without a proper business plan, properly managing cash flow, etc… So I certainly hope you don’t just think the gravy train has arrived and that you thank your Dad… hey maybe even pay him for that business that he built.

      I have my own corporation and my son or daughter will not just get it. They will need to buy it because they believe it is a good business opportunity. Plus, I believe if they have a million of their own dollars on the line, they will be far more motivated than it seems you are. I may give them the money to buy it, but if they use that money to buy themselves a nice house/car, than I know they are not the right person to continue my business.

  37. My wife and I have been with Freedom 55 re: the handling of Mutual Funds and GICs for 1.5 years but switched to CIBC because Freedom 55 replaced our Financial Advisor “7” times within the 1.5 year timespan hence when ever we contacted the company they told us that they would return our call due to a “MINOR SHUFFLE” within the branch. Our call was always returned 5 days later. Everytime we needed to ask them a question he would say “I need to meet with you at your home” When we requested to cancel and break free they demanded to meet with us in person otherwise our request would be denied.
    DO NOT GO WITH FREEDOM 55 OTHERWISE YOU WILL RECEIVE MIGRAINES AND LITERALLY GROW OLD BY THE SECOND LISTENING TO THEIR “MEETING WITH YOU AT YOUR HOME” FOR EVERY LITTLE REQUEST. THIS COMPANY WORKS IN A VERY CREEPY WAY ALWAYS UPSELLING IN PRODUCTS THAT NEVER INTEREST US AFTER TELLING THEM FOR THE HUNDREDTH TIME “WE DO NOT WISH TO BUY THAT”.

    GO TO YOUR OWN BANK OR ING DIRECT.

    Freedom 55 might’ve been a good company 30 years ago but now its a TOTAL SCAM AND OR CULT.

    VIAS CON DIOS FREEDOM 55.

    1. Meeting you at your home… Wow that is outstanding service!!! I can assure you as a rep those days are behind me as they ate away at my profitability. My clients now come to my office. They need to drive to see me, I now longer go to their homes for their convenience. I wonder when you have questions how long you will wait for the new person at CIBC to come by your home to help you out and make sure they solve your concerns.

      If you are looking for the need to drive to see your advisor, I am in Eastern ontario and will see you only if your account is larger than $250,000 or your family income is over $150,000.

      I suspect the drive or flight will be well worth your while, as I firmly believe I will multiple your net worth by a factor of at least 5 times what you are doing now. Minimum. I will likely make you a millionaire!!!

      Let me ask one 2 questions to illustrate.
      1) How much are you doing to your investments on a monthly/annual basis?
      2) Why that amount?

      Is the answer to #2 is because that is what I can afford, does that not sound ridiculous???

      When you bought car insurance, did the salesperson ask you how much you could offer, and then tell you that’s your premium? Or did he sell you the right insurance for your need? Ask you what type of car you drive, etc…

      Imagine actually putting the right amount of money aside to fund the retirement you want as opposed to putting a number aside on a monthly basis with no idea whether this will allow you the retirement you want. It is just ludicrous!!

      I am happy to draft a retirement plan for you, that the bank will not for $1500 plus an annual fee of $500 to review it yearly to make sure you are on track. You can keep your investments with the bank as I am sure they will help build an appropriate portfolio based on your risk tolerance, where they see the economy going and will review your account annually (at least) until your account is over $250K than they will do it twice /yr and sign a letter guaranteeing you they will contact you at those dates.

      Wait a minute, they have 20,000 customers at their branch and 4 advisors, that’s 5000 customers each. If they see them 2 times per year and work 9-4 (banking hours) and 45 weeks per year, they will have 450 meeting per week and still have time to draft financial plans, review your baking charges, advise you on Hold Co, Trusts, insurance products, your invetsments etc…

      Wow those people at the bank sure work hard for their clients for a measly $45000 per year!! I only have 10 appts per week, have a staff member that drafts financial plans and have three other assistants.

      Think before you speak!!!

      1. Sorry, for my fee, I will also guarantee you that within our first meeting, I will share with you an idea or 20 that will save you the fee at least 3 times over, if not I will not charge you.

        Ask the bank if they guarantee you they will develop a plan to double your net worth, give you ideas that will save you at least $5000 (immediately) and allow you to succeed financially if you follow their recommendation and that that person will be your personal advisor (and those of your family members) for your lifetime (or there about).

        Let me know the answer to that… can’t wait to see the post.

  38. I learned the hard way by being charged lots FEES cancelling my services with Freedom55. The so called Financial Advisors knew absolutely NOTHING and made many many errors during my time with them.

    DO NOT GO WITH FREEDOM 55. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.

    1. Who doesn’t have Fees? Left the Bank for an independent – transfer fee. Left the independent for an ins. co. – trans fees. The advisor at the ins co paid my trans fee and told me in our initial meeting what fees may apply in the future, nobody else did that. Then we signed an agreement together that said if I was unhappy and left he personally would pay my trans fees. The ins co – F55.

      1. Sounds like you got a good one…hope you realize!! Hope he keeps up the great work, love to get his name so if one of my families move to that city, I know they will be well served.

        Just ask him/her to not have too many clients. Ask him how many weeks/yr he works, how many appts he has per week and how often he will see you. If the numbers don’t add up, ask he the questions…

        I believe we are the second most important person in your life, after your DR. Which gets me to another subject… How is it that the most important person in your life, does not call you for your annual physical, makes you wait hours in their waiting room to see them, triple books, etc… Wait maybe because really he is the salesperson that just cares about making money and not actually about me or my health…

        Now that’s a BIG SCAM!!

        If you guys know of a Dr that’s limits his patients, calls his/her patients for their annual physical, is always on time for meetings, comes to my home to get to know me and my family and guarantee me that is I am not happy he will reimburse OHIP (or equivalent) for his fees… let me know because my experience towards the most important person in my life has been a far cry from that experience. Maybe I have been unlucky with Drs

        Bart it sounds like you have a good advisor, but make sure… it’s too important.

    2. Maybe MAry, before you decided to go ahead with F55F and specifically this advisor you should have done your homework. It sounds like you got the wrong person, (he should share the blame), but you should as well. Ask your advisor the hard questions.

      1) How long have you been doing this?
      2) how do you get compensated?
      3) Industry designation(s)
      4) Business goal ?
      5) vision for your firm ?
      6) Client base (size, target market, etc..)
      7) What makes you different?
      8) Service standard (matrix)
      9) Support
      10) Succession (what happens if you die, retire, leave your firm to my account)

      If you don’t like the answers, don’t hire them.
      If you didn’t ask the questions, and it did not work out, should you not be a little responsible for not doing your homework and just hiring this guy… because why exactly????

  39. Good evening Darren,

    I just happened upon this site doing a search of my own as well. I am also a F55 Advisor and it’s sad that you feel that way about our company. Not knowing the whole situation, I can’t really comment on your experience. However you may have heard the saying “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence” situations. While the grass may be greener, often it’s AstroTurf, and all you get is rug burn.

    All I am saying is that make sure you compare apples to apples before you make an informed decision, not all Advisors are built the same way.

    I would lend out my services to you but judging from the date of your posting and your decision you would most likely decline. Just know that there are some good people that work hard at F55F and my offer to you remains open.

    All the best!

  40. I was reading the post You’d Be Wise to Avoid Freedom 55 Financial”.
    The person who wrote this is such a stupid and no brain and foolish. There are over thousound advisors working for Freedom 55. Only one advisor make some mistakes and that cause not be ruin for others. If you are not happy with that person or organization, the reality is do not deal with that person or organization. When you wrote this topic, you become idoit.

  41. I want to thank this website for helping me with my decision to NOT choosing to go with FREEDOM 55, my husband just recently died and needed guidance re: finances. This DARRENBAREFOOT website is excellent b/c it helps consumers make important decisions about life finances so I truly thank you and ofcourse Canada for FREEDOM of speach -no pun intended.

    1. Careful the advice you take from certain websites. I too lost my husband and joined Freedom 55 as an investor and couldn’t be happier. I hope my advisor is able to make a bit of money for all of his help. Does your dentist work for free? Grab a brain.

      1. Hy there are also website out there about suicide, rape, kiddy porn, etc… I certainly hope you just don’t believe everything you read….

        Ask your friends who their advisor is, and how happy they are with them, and then interview a couple and ask them the hard questions… this is far too important of a decision to just go on the internet and decide who will manage your life. Take some time and make sure you are comfortable with the person managing your affairs,

  42. I’m a new advisor with F55F and it is truly a great company to work for, the training program they offer is amazing and very rewarding. We were not trained to sell products to reach our comission I was trained to statisfy the needs of my clients, not my own. We live in a society where people are going to do what it takes to get ahead and make more money and those people kind of ruin it for the good ones out there. I take my job serious, my clients are trusting that I’m putting their needs first and I do. Sorry for those who have had a bad experience, I’m sure there are more positive ones then negative.

    1. I wish you all the success Michelle, you are in full control of your own destiny. Please if it does not work with F55F,please don’t come back here and blame everyone. Take the hard look in the mirror and truly determine what you could have done to be more successful and it starts with seeing a minimum of clients per week, and that number I believe is between 8-12, depending on your business model, support levels, etc… seeing 1-2 clients per week will never work.

      Best of luck!

  43. I was due to get married in oct and my wife to be worked with the board of directors for the eastern regional help line in sydney Nova scotia she worked with the a man named charlie aboud wich also sold polices with freedom 55 so she started working more with him and said he was a good man so my wife to be talked me into getting a life policy with him so thats all she would talk about was him.so i was leary of him and her .so i started to record their phone calls .and sure enough i was rite…she was with him..the recordings tell it all.so guys..he sold me a policy and took my love of my life.one day before i knew about it .she even talked me in to driving her two hours to when he checked hiself into rehab.she said he had to get a check signed.lol.pretty sly guy.

  44. I know of this man you speak of this Charlie Aboud.This man has lost a great deal of money on lot of good people.due to his battle with his demons within.BEWARE.

  45. These people have given this fine organization that is volunteer driven and was formed on a solid foundation of very passionate people some years ago.But now it has lost it’s purpose.

  46. I have known this Wendy Hasem from the helpline for many years and what i would like to know is how does someone with her past mental history like hers gets a title like director.Is there no screening process anymore…I suppose If your willing to donate your time,they don’t care who you are or what youv done Shame on all of you.

    1. Your ignorance seems astounding! As if there is only one Wendy Hasem in this vast country…let alone this world.

    2. There’s only one that has a connection to Charlie Aboud.. And HelpingHand, you could not be more correct.. She’s definitely a mental case who should never be allowed to be in the position that she’s in.. Painfully there’s no real screening anymore!!

  47. I was wondering if anyone ever took money out of hte Freedom 55 and was then told that it is a loan and has to be paid back along with major interest?

    1. If you borrow against your whole life policy, it is a loan and you have to pay it back with low interest. You should have received a full binder with all of the information about your financial portfolio. If you read it you would have read that. ?????

      1. The interest rate is 8%. I would hardly call that a low interest rate!!! especially in today’s world.
        Clearly the salesman at freedom 55 financial should have explained the product they were pushing – if they did explain it they wouldn’t have sold it though, so naturally it wasn’t explained.
        Bunch of snakes, sharks and crooks at freedom 55

      2. Curtis again shouting off his mouth… Curtis why don’t you explain to everyone why the loan rate is 8%, and what would happen to the participating fund if they dropped the loan rate (to benefit the 10-20% of people that take loan to the detriment of the 80-90% of people that don’t.)

        Come on Curtis, you genius… explain??

  48. The 200 $ a month expense fee you have to pay as and advisor blows.

    Its best to be an independent.

    1. You’re saying that the $200 a month blows, and you should be independent? Are you expenses free for being an independent advisor, or do you have to pay rent and bills while having your own office. In the grand scheme of things, $200/month is pretty cheap to own a piece of a franchise!!

      1. You don’t own a piece of the company!! take your head out of your behind. Freedom 55 financial is set up in a pyramid system. The employees actually pay the costs (printer, fax machine, office space, phone, rent, coffee etc.). This is not owning a share!! this is called being a sucker.
        The people at the top of Great West Life/power corp (who owns freedom 55 and london life and sun life and canada life and many others..) have options and benefits in excess of $500,000,000.00 per person. look it up.
        you are paying them that, and by doing all these permanent insurance policies you get paid cause they get paid big. and the little guy who bought the policy will pay too much for his whole life and get whipped out by inflation anyways.

        watch and see the slaughterfest, and then the lawsuits pile in.

        Freedom 55 Financial is a scam full of car-salesmen in suits.

      2. Andrew, are you Curtis’ brother????

        GWL does not own Sun Life you moron…. do your homework.

        How much benefits do the top dogs at RBC have? or TD? or CIBC, or IG, or Scotia, or Magna, or Bell…. I think you get the picture.

        Andrew… what happens to the participating fund if inflation increases?
        How is the participating fund for any insurance company invested? why?
        Why would inflation increase?
        What happens to interest rates when inflation increases….
        See Andrew these are questions that will affect the par fund over the long term…. why would someone as smart as you not have done the logically reasoning????

        Oh wow and you were not a successful advisor… WOW I’m shocked!!! Now it’s LL fault… I know.

    2. Hey buddy, where do you get office space for less than $200/mth? Being independent does not mean working from home, or watching TV instead of seeing clients. If your bisiness cannot afford $200/mth, please never be my advisor.

      1. Freedom 55 Financial allows there “employees” (self employed individuals who actually pay to be there and have the chance to sell some insurance and make a commission) to control their own schedules.
        This includes watching too much TV and hanging out lol. they just try to leech onto people and get referrals to keep selling insurance!!

        I agree, sharks in suits!!

      2. Self employed people that pay for their own way…. what a company…. you are right they are the devil!!!

        Thank God Subway pays all the rent for all their franchisees, as does McDonalds, as does every other business in the world….

        Freedom 55 Is a scam… WOW!

        Moron!!

  49. I don’t understand why people deal directly with one company for insurance?

    Why would you deal with Freedom 55 (who is owned by London Life) and can only sell London Life Products, and not deal with an independent brokers who can find the best, most cost effective, and complete solution to your needs?

    When most people buy a TV, do they go to the Sony Store with high manufacturer prices and only one brand, or do they go to Futureshop/Best Buy/Visions with low prices/sales and all the brands out there?

    1. I have a Manulife policy that I bought through my London life advisor. He also showed me Sunlife plan and a London plan but the Manu policy fit my needs the best. I think they can offer policies from many companies just no other company can offer thiers.

      1. accurate information (actually), although the relationship with Sun Life has been terminated recently. I think Sun Life CEO work up one morning and said… shit we have been giving LL agents the ability to sell our product but they still have not given us the ability. Wow, only took them 10 yrs, not bad. I bet the CEO (new one I suspect) use to work for GWL or LL?

      1. I bet you sell anything that anyone will buy, lol.

        You are a lousy overpaid salesman with no real interest in the performance of the “plans” you make up for your clients.

        Pump those 20-pays out@!!! haha.

        Your clients are about to lose everything they put into those pieces of shit, prepare yourself for lawsuits David.

        Do you know what your permanent insurance products are invested in?

        Didn’t think so, cause if you did and if you had any clue on world economics you wouldn’t be selling them.

    2. As bad as Freedom 105 is, you can’t compare going to Sony vs going to Futureshop. Futureshop doesn’t give advice, they are entirely based on commission, so their “best advice” is the most expensive product. Actually, rather like Freedom 55…

      1. So Brent… if that is your belief why would you ever go to Future shop, or F55F.

        My guess is you really don’t know what you are talking about Please prove what you are saying, because I can quickly 100% discredit you.

        Stop Lying!

    3. simply not true. Why would you deal with an advisor that did not have the option to sell the #1 life insurance company in Canada (based on policyowners). As a rep, I can sell any other products in the industry and London Life. No independent can.

    4. Not Treu…Again without any information. All good advisors F55F or not will get the best product for their client possible. I deal with over 10 insurance company, but only Tier 1 companies, but why would I purposely avoid the #1 insurance company (by policyholders) in the country?

      Again, do your homework, if F55F have the best product for your situation would you buy it? How do you know if they do, if you don’t at least allow them the opportunity to show you? I assume they became the #1 insurance company in the country for a reason.

      If F55F does not have the best product for your dollar, why would you buy it there?

    5. David Dumb-bond…. I know David Drummond and he is not an unsuccessful advisor… he is actually very successful… unlike you were.

      I also suspect you are either Curtis or Andrew or another unsuccessful past F55F guy now that has come on here to blame F55F for your inability to sell anything and really don’t understand the products you are talking negative about….

      Please explain to everyone… (ask Andrew and Curtis for help) how the par fund works, why inflation would actually be a good thing for the par fund, come on David Dumb-bond… explain…
      Also explain why the par fund has outperform most indexes in the world over the last 10 years (with less volatility than 5 yr. GIC rates) and are always (and I mean always) outperform GIC rates?

      If you actually answer this question (asset composition of the par fund) you will know all those answer. My guess is David Drummond (who I knows is informed) can answer this question very well, my guess is you cannot…and won’t because you’ll look like a fool.

      Come on buddy, show us how smart you are???

  50. My Comment:

    I’m not sure why this event is being glorified into a “Macro” scenario. After reading it thoroughly I understand that one person had played an insufficient role in exercising your requests. This is a “Micro” scenario. It is fair to say that the one advisor had failed you. It is not rational to believe that everyone under the London Life umbrella is of the same value. If you are out to flag people or companies problems, I’ve got one for you. There was this guy who wrote in a letter that he felt he was wasting precious time with an incompetent company and he felt he could have been spending this quality time with his own clients. The real hole in my story of this guy is that he wastes piles and piles of time blogging and maintaining a personal website. This guy also had a complaint about being contacted too many times when he feels his thoughts should be indexed in google. Bottom Line: Sometimes people have problems. Sometimes addressing that problem is more costly and more work than the inconvenienceor cost of the problem.

    1. My fiancée is an advisor with F55 and I’ve been impressed by the attention to customer service, honesty, ethics and investing in the client’s best interest that is preached within the organization.

      As many have stated above – the organization is made up of multiple advisors who are self-employed agents. They are essentially brokers with a wide array of investment and insurance products available to them. Some within the London Life umbrella and others elsewhere.

      From what I’ve seen from the outside, the F55 company seems to do a good job in providing training, encouraging continuing education and mentoring new advisors.

      As people have pointed out, there will be bad apples in any organization. It is also likely that some regional offices of F55 may be better than others.

      I can say from personal experience, and watching what these people do that a mostly competent F55 advisor puts you head and shoulders above having your insurance and investments kept with a bank. In fact, I would steer very clear of banks for insurance products since they seem to sell products that are only underwritten at the time of the claim, thus you may not actually qualify!

      I suspect that if someone sells you insurance that you qualify for after one form and a telephone conversation, then something is wrong and you may not be as insured as you think you are.

      Rather than using unsubstantiated and random, anonymous Internet posts to make a decision on choosing an investor, do your own due diligence. Get some referrals either from people you trust, or if you are talking to a representative have them provide you with a reference or two.

      1. Acutally,

        they are not ethical…they only care about sales goals, they push advisors to sell leveraged investments where rookie advisors end up making a mess by putting everything in a high risk fund

        they are not brokers and are contractually not allowed to deal with other companies outside of their own (under the GWL ownership)

        they do a horrible job at mentoring

        I am an adivsor, started out with F55 and don’t tell people today where I started out….its embarassing

        they don’t try to nurture professional, ethical advisors, but instead breed mediocrity and recruit anyone and see if they stick….see, if you join, they push you to sell to yourself, family and friends, if your gone in a few months, well, they have your family’s business and that makes up for any costs….its MLM under the veil of a well established brand

      2. Yet another unsuccessful business owner blaming everyone but himself. You are in charge of what you sell, if you sell something that you feel is not ethical, than you are not ethical.

        Tell me what sales company does not have sales target and I will show you a company that will not last. Would you invest (I.E. GWL stock or other) if they did not have sales goals (or earning projections), a solid business plan).

        Do you really think F55F invest money in you, a significant amount of money (I have heard up to $100K per hire) in hopes that you will sell your family and friends and be gone within a short period. Come on, think a little.

  51. It does appear Freedom 55 Financial’s integrity is at stake, unfortunately.

    I am an advisor at F55F, and while I myself am aware of the major challenges its bureaucratic nature presents, the training, support and people I work with at the Toronto Offices truly make it a worth while place to work, to learn, and help people attain some makings of a financial plan.

    It’s interesting the power of media — one blog post –, and the results it has generated.

    Darren, you seem very passionate about this topic – I say with that sort of energy, use it. If you don’t like it, change it. I hope something positive comes out of this.

    (And also, one of the basics we learn is NEVER tell a client to cancel a policy until the new one has been received, its unfortunate your advisor was not accountable to this)

  52. Interesting thoughts from everyone. I too was a F55 agent back in the early 90s, when they were London Life and F55 was really just an ad campaign. I think it’s fair to say that they have good and bad employees as there are in every company. They also have people with different education and backgrounds, it doesn’t mean that everyone there is terrible at what they do. I left the company to work on the brokerage side to be able to offer my clients a wider range of options, as at the time there was a stronger emphasis placed on selling whole life products which was evident in their compensation structure. I believe that has really changed and the company has totally restructured since my time with them…not to say I’m heading back!

    Darren I have to say I do find it odd that you were able to place your initial Manu policy over a 5 minute phone conversation. I sell employee benefit plans almost exclusively now and this is not normally the way the process works. It’s also fair to point out that most of the companies offering benefits do have concerns over how many people are related to the owner of a business and/or live in the same home. This isn’t an issue on larger cases but for small businesses this does come up from time to time depending on the insurance company and the total number of employees being insured.

    I’m glad you were able to find something that worked in the end. It’s a constant struggle to maintain a level of credibility in the public’s eye, so it’s never nice to hear about the difficulties someone had in dealing with our industry.

  53. I would really like to know more about what happend. I am doing a project and the details listed above are not sufficient so if you could give all the details of what happened I would really appreciate it

    1. …and yet his royal idiotness does not take a moment to consider that the financial crisis in the last year has anything to do with it…amazing, just amazing!

  54. dear darren i have juss applied a job with freedom 55 as a financial securities planner – i’m new to hearing about this company and i would like to know more about it can u forward me ur experience to my email account? thnx

    1. Be careful. This is really a sales industry. It’s all about commissions, and not about advising. Whatever you do, do not sell any of the products to your family. That’s what they want you to do. Then when you leave, and you will before the clients vest, the local F55F managers swoop in like vultures and divide up you family members’ portfolios amongst themselves so that they can get the trailing commissions.

      You have to sell their proprietary funds and insurance. They really push for it. But as you can see from the above post, 71% loss over 9 years, they are really sub par products.

      Their training program is not bad. At least you get paid to study and get your funds license and insurance license. They have you sign something that says you have to pay them back if you leave, but I have yet to hear them enforcing that. So take the training, get licensed, and then go work at a bank, of an established CFP that will give you a better platform, and more room for advancement. F55F has somewhere in the range of 90% turnover. So the odds are really against you. But keep in mind, there’s no barrier to entry, you don’t even need a college degree in this business, so it’s similar to being a realtor in that respect.

      1. Jack – I need to talk to you, as I am a former “employee” of F55, if you could call it that. I’d just like you to elaborate a little bit if you wouldn’t mind. Do you have an email address?

      2. Hey Jack, are you sure? Or are you just talking without any proof?

        Of course, an advisor would like to manage assets, that is their job. Should they get paid for managing it, I can guarantee that if they are not paid, they won’t manage it. When you go to work, do you work for free?

        As a F55F advisor I certainly do not need to sell our proprietary funds, I can sell anything I want. I do have a different contract than most, due to the volume of business I do, and thus have tons of trailer commissions, does that make me bad??

        Sorry, I’m missing something…Are you saying get all their training (so they have good training) and than go work at a bank (where they will make huge profits and you’ll earn next to nothing) and the bank will allow you to sell another bank’s product??? Do you live in a different world than I do??

        So here is Jack’s advice (I assume he works at a bank)

        1) Go and get the best training you can… apparently that’s F55F
        2) Expect people (and yourself I assume by default) to work for free
        3) Tell everyone the company is bad because you compensated to sell their product, and go work at a bank, where you have absolutely no choice but to sell their products exclusively
        4) Work somewhere where you can move up the corporate ladder, but of course before you do that (and always will) you will have a boss instead of being your own boss and be responsible for your own income

        Yes ladies and gentlemen this is exactly the advice I would expect from someone working at the bank, lucky for me… this is exactly the reason I am successful, because of terrible advice and people not really seeing the forrest for the trees.

        The bank is so lucky to have people with such vision, I hope you move to senior management at that bank, my job keeps getting easier and easier.

  55. I realize I am a bit late getting on on this thread, but I felt the need (as some of the other Freedom people) to clarify some things.

    Yes it is a commission based business, so you are going to get some shady pusher that are only interested in their bottom line, not the clients. But there are some of us out there that don’t tote the company line. (And I have never heard anything about always putting the wife as the co-client, I usually make light of client/co-client and let the couple decide who wants to be what.)

    I’m sure much to my wife’s chagrin (and my director for that matter), I am not making as much money as I could if I had that wolf mentality but I grew up in a small Ontario town, and it’s instilled in me that I need to be a benefit to society. I’ve had clients that have come to me wanting products that don’t fit their financial goals but would have made me a boat load and I’ve advised them that they should go a different route. They don’t always listen, but my role is to advise. If I give them the advice and then they still want to go the other route, they have made an informed decision.

    And as to cancelling your existing coverage before obtaining new coverage, well that would highlight an individual agents incompetence. It is drilled in to us during training that we are never to cancel any policy until a new one issued. You open yourself up for lawsuits if you advise the to cancel without confirmed coverage to replace it.

    1. Matt, with your outlook, I promise you this… you will be successful if you see enough people. To quote someone famous in our industry (and with F55F, but he self brands (like me)… SEE THE PEOPLE. I am also in Ontario and if you are serious about working hard and helping people make wise decisions look me up… I have a place in my firm for people just like you, but you will need to work hard. If you do, I guarantee you I will make you successful.

  56. This comment is totally unfair bringing the entire industry down. the entire industry is commission based but it doesn’t mean that all advisors just want money. It you don’t have loads of cash do you think bankers will take time explaining every detail about your financial needs? I don’t think so, they will show you the door after 15 minutes. This comment by the Mr. Darren is all about being machismo, a customer is the king mentality. Everybody makes mistakes, all professionals are prone to that, but it doesn’t follow that the organization is at fault.

    1. but, F55 doesn’t try to breed good financial advisors, just mediocrity….they train dozens of people a year hoping some stick, but if they don’t, well, they got their family business….their compensation model is awful…you can make twice the money as an independent advisor…maybe that way these guys won’t feel the need to sell the “big” cases to everyone and push leveraged investing on everyone

      1. Again, simple not true. I have only ever sold 1 leverage deal,and my manager is certainly not making me sell anything, in fact I don’t know how she could help me, since she has never sold the volume I do.
        She is a business coach, helps me with hires, questions with HO, etc..

        Yes, of course the company wants mediocrity, it does not want to make profits. It wants advisors that are not successful, so they can go on this post and blame everyone else.

        Damien, my payout on money business is about 85%, and on life about 170%, tell me which company pays double that, I would love to work for a company that would pay me $1.70 for every dollar of earnings they get. Wait a minute… that company would go out of business in a day. Please stop the lies.

        The company may pay slightly less than other companies, but I assume you know the reason… because they provide other things that other companies don’t. They have hired a consulting firm that is advising me on my practice, from staffing, to driving profits, to analyzing my clients base, profitability, etc… This is a two year project that if I was independent would likely cost me nearly $50,000 over than time period.

        Again, do your homework, understand the trade off and what the value proposition is with each firm and choose the one that best suits your needs, just like you would suggest (I hope) to your client do.

  57. All Investment and Insurance companies are basically the same. And like all businesses, they are under pressure to make money for the stakeholders.

    Having previously worked for Freedom 55 and now in the Independent world, I can tell you most of the problems that people have with companies arise more from the Advisor then the company its self.
    Most cases of company problems arise because the advisor did a poor job of explaining the product or didn’t really understand it.

    There are two types of advisors out there (in my opinion). Those who care about their Clients and those who care about their commissions. Sadly, those who care about their commissions tend to make it harder on the rest of us trying to earn an honest living.

    As for commission VS fee based advisors – the truth is that Fee based also get a a commission on the products they sell. They just charge a fee to do all the leg-work and paper-work that they do for their clients – they feel they should be paid for this additional service to their clients.

    ALL the people out there working in the industry are just like yourself – they get up in the morning, get dressed and go to work so they can pay their bills and live a good life.

    In a case where a person has lost too much in an investment, that is a lack of communication with the advisor and/or a improperly done risk-assessment. Ultimately if an investor becomes uncomfortable with the amount they are losing, then a move to a less risky investment should be done.

    As for cases like ‘macho’ – that is purely the case of the Advisor, not the company.

    If you are having trouble with ANY advisor or company – ask for a different Advisor or go see a different Advisor at another organization. You’d be surprised at the difference a change in Advisor could make for you. Some times it is just a matter of confort and fit – your advisor has to fit with who you are and see things the way you do, if not, it is not a good fit and in the long run, you’ll just become unhappy.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the Industry is Highly Regulated – and I am VERY surprised that so far in this on-going discussion no one has really mentioned that OR provided any links to the sites that can help when there is an issue. In Ontario – http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/ – Here is the complaint page – http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/english/regulate/resolve_complaint.asp

    There is also the http://www.mfda.ca/

    Clients should ‘interview’ advisors and find the one that is right for them. A site that can help is – http://advocis.ca/

    I hope this helps some people out.

    And I am truly sorry to hear of the bad experiences some have had with advisors.

    In Closing – a good advisor is there to help. Investments vary, and normally help people enjoy their retirement. Life Insurance exists for a reason and should be there to meet your needs as a client.

    Thank-you for reading. I welcome any feedback.

  58. I disagree. Freedom 55 is an excellent company with great benefits. My family had several plans with them and they had delivered quite nicely. Recently I was forced to borrow money from my retirement fund for an emergency. My financial broker responded promptly and I was given the money needed within days. I am planning to give them even more once my emergency is over and the money is recovered. Freedom 55 is worth every penny I had invested and I will continue to see my investment grow toward a satisfying and secure future.

  59. FIRST off, let me make this clear. I am neither an employee, an advocate for, have any insurance with or ever been in contact with F55.

    The fact that you cancelled your policy before securing another confirms that your are indeed iimprudent. In this day and age, I suppose it’s trendy to blame others for your own ignorance and not being man enough to take responsibility. It’s like saying “I deliberately broke that bottle, but it’s not my fault, my hand did”.

    If you were not comfortable dealing with that advisor, there is no rule that says you can’t request for another.

    Over the last year, I’ve made inquiries for quotations to several insurance companies, not one company ever say to me that an application can be completed in an hour, let alone 5 minutes and a face to face meeting is mandatory.

    Your story and supposed experience is definitely something that does not add up.

    IN CLOSING, my group insurance through work is with Manulife. I suppose that I must now go cancel my policy due to my amazement that they have they have one too many rash and irresponsible client.

    1. Leigh you are one stupid person!
      Darren is a client it is NOT the client’s job to correct the advisor, if that happens then something is wrong. Either the advisor should know what he is talking about, or he should be doing something else.
      I guess you tell your doctor what medicine he should give you, and if he doesn’t you request another doctor, right?

  60. Here are the FACTS in point form:

    – Freedom 55 advisors are self employed
    – They can sell over 95% of mutual funds available (not just proprietary)
    – They can sell London Life, Great-West Life, Sunlife and Manulife products via intercorporate agreements
    – When necessary to meet client needs they can sell other insurance carriers products
    – Most offices require a post-graduate degree to become an advisor
    – They encourage and pay for continuing education such as the Certified Financial Planner’s designation (CFP) among others
    – One of the few remaining firms that higher new advisors into the business
    – They have the highest retention rate in the industry (over 25% versus 10% with most firms after five years)
    – They provide extensive training to start (seven weeks with minimal compensation) as well as on going support forever
    – They pay current advisors for referring new advisors because that is where they have the highest success (advisors know what it takes to be successful and who better to refer into the business)
    – It is an aging industry, which is why they need to hirer more advisors all the time (average advisor age is over 55 – in the industry, not just Freedom 55 although it is similar)
    – Commissions are industry standard or lower (both investments and insurance)
    – Freedom 55 advisors with a CFP designation can offer fee for service advice as opposed to commission
    – All Freedom 55 advisors must sign the code of ethics annually
    – Freedom 55 advisors get unparalleled support in every product line from specialists (Investment Consultants with Certified Financial Planning (CFP) designations, Private Wealth Councillors with Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations, Tax and Estate Planning with Chartered Accountants (CA) designations, Living Benefits Specialist with Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designations, just to name a few).
    – Have access to industry leading financial planning technology such as NaviPlan
    – Freedom 55 advisors pay subsidized rent in prime office locations and pay little for technology, support and software (independents could only dream of paying so little in comparison)
    – Do not post commissions of other advisors but rather credits which reflect all activity including commissionable and non-commissionable activity.
    – Has a sales process that centers around the clients needs and comprehensive fact finding to ensure the best products can be recommended

    This is one of the toughest industries to work in and Freedom 55 Financial provides their advisors with unparalleled support to help them succeed. Unfortunately many people are not up for the challenge of finding their own clients. There are many advisors who are great but cannot prospect. You will find them with the Banks. For those who can prospect effectively, you will find them with independent firms such as Freedom 55 Financial. In my opinion, you are far better served with one of these individuals.

    Before selecting ANY Financial Advisor, ask for client references and ask lots of questions. Freedom 55 advisors are required to have clients sign a disclosure document up front which tells the client how they get paid, who they can represent and informs them of any potential conflicts of interest. The company also performs annual audits to ensure this takes place.

    Do your homework and don’t believe anonymous posts from people who don’t even understand their own problems.

  61. Wow I read the whole thing! Good for me. It seems to me that when seeking financial advice, go to someone that’s been in the business awhile (as people who aren’t the right fit seem to get weeded out quickly) Or, rely on a personal referral – just like a mechanic, or a doctor, or anyone who’s in a position where they know a hell of a lot more than you do about a specialized, important subject. Am I wrong?

  62. Love this stuff. Primerica is the only company that can deliver. I can prove it with any Prospectus.

    1. All who dissatisfied with Freedom 55 Financial should go and Deal with PRIMERICA!!!!! I DARE YOU! The Best company ever for those who hates Freedom 55! BUT before you DO go to PRIMERICA , google it!

      1. Really? Don’t say things that will only make you look ignorant. I could rip a Primerica policy to shreds!!!!! They have more hidden riders and future costs ( without even knowing ) then any other company in North America ( for that matter ). Freedom 55 has intercorporate deals with Manulife, Sunlife, Canada Life. So to hate Freedom 55 would mean you hate Life Insurance. Also their management staff will allow you to sell other products if it makes sense for the client ( known as a one off ). So all your problems are with some Joe Shmoe advisor and not the actual company Power Corp.

      2. Greg,
        1) – F55 advisors CANNOT sell Canada life products (& vice versa), you are told this on day 1 of training.
        2) -When you sell a non London life product you get NO COMMISSION only FYC credits and any sales bonus (do it too many times and the management gets upset)
        If you don’t even know these BASIC facts, I doubt you know much more.
        “To hate Freedom 55 would mean that you hate Life insurance” – So by you logic if you hate Kia Cars it would mean that you hate foreign cars – somehow that doesn’t sound right…
        Please, Don’t say things that will only make you look ignorant.

      3. Greg email me, I would like to know more about how you rip these Primerica policies apart. Full disclosure I am with Primerica and would like to know more from your point of view.

      4. Erik… why is Primerica term so expensive compare to almost everyone else in the industry? Why are the renewals so pricey? Why does the rates go up yearly after a certain age… Why has Primerica disallowed so many claims?That would be a good start?

        Some people may actual need their term insurance longer than just the term. Some may want to do estate planning…

      5. Oh boy, if there are 2 companies that are even worse than F55 and from which one should keep away from, its PRIMERICA and WORLD FINANCIAL GROUP, Scums of the earth.

      6. There is Pete again, saying stuff without any proof, just lies.

        I am a F55F advisor and have contracts through F55F and my MGA of about 20 companies, one being Canada Life. I certainly would not sell something without being paid. Come on, do you really think anyone would sell Manulife, Sun Life, etc… and not get paid.

      7. Pete Jordan, I would only 1/2 agree with you. Obvioulsy you know nothing about Primerica. Do yourself a favour and go to google finance, then google them. WFG on the other hand, sell financial cancer. I totally agree with you there. FYI, if you pay into CPP. You are a shareholder in Primerica. We are a publicly traded company, also the largest financial services company in North America.

  63. My family has had policies with London Life for many years and when it came down to it–when my parents passed–I have had nothing but problems with them and I find them very unprofessional and very incompetent. I do not recommend any dealings with Freedom 55 Financial–A Division of London Life.

  64. this company is ridiculous!! To all those who work for this company, tell me why they require no education? Tell me why they have a major turnover rate?? it’s a scam and all those who work for them do not want to believe it…

    1. Mark,

      They do go through a licensing process and are trained in insurance and investing. That’s more then I can say about entry level bank or investor group employees out of the gate.

      The major turnover is because some people think they are getting a job where they come in 9-5. The truth is you are building a business. If you are not the entrepreneurial type or are not competent you will most likely ‘fire’ yourself….The funny thing is that the ones who don’t make it and stay in the financial services industry go and work for one of the BIG BANKS. The banks take them …get this… because they are trained and have experience. They become asset gatherers and have client lists in the thousands. Ironic…. I think so!

      It is not a scam. Freedom 55 offers financial products from some of the most reputable companies in Canada including but not limited to: Sunlife, Manulife, Great-West Life, London Life, CIBC, TD, RBC, Fidelity, CI Investments, Franklin Templeton, AIM Trimark, Sprott Asset Management, the list goes on and on. The issue is rarely with the product. What you need is to get an advisor who you trust and who knows his/her stuff. They need to help you plan based on your goals!

      You are not going to find that at the branch level of a bank, that model is like herding cattle. If you want… get in line! Or go get an advisor you trust. Ask for a few referrals, do a little homework. I don’t care what company they are with. If you find a good one, use them! Freedom 55 or not.

    2. Mark… the only scam is that you are saying stuff that you have no proof to. You have little information and going on and on because you had a bad experience.
      If you went to a Subway in Nevada and it was not clean and the 18 yr old kid behind the counter was rude to you, would that mean that the Subway organization is crooked, that lettuce is unhealthy and that all Subways treat their clientele poorly, or would it mean that my experience with the Subway in Nevada was bad. I will not go back to that one.

      That is exactly the same thing for F55F. All advisors are their own franchise except unlike Subway you did not have a large cash outlay upfront, and you get way more training. Our industry is very tough, and in any sales job (regardless of industry) there is a large turnover. I can assure you London life advertises at Universities as well. They are always looking for people that will represent the brand well. You never what you are hiring until they work a while.

      Do you think that 18 yr old at Subway (Nevad) was hired because he was rude to the owner of that franchise? Or perhaps he gave a good interview and seemed like a quality candidate. I suspect that if the owner continues to her bad things about that 18 yr old, he will take action and have it corrected or he will be fired. Unfortunately F55F does keep advisors on too long at times, they should fire at least half their advisors (as my guess 50% of their sales staff make less than $50K/yr), but because their stock price would drop too much that will not happen any time soon As an investor that potentially could buy GWL shares, shareholder value would depreciate if those advisors were let go, although corporate profits and imagine would benefit long term, but you would have millions of Canadians with policies with F55F but no advisor.

      As a successful advisor that self brands, I can tell you my goal is to have only 200 clients (big ones mind one) to provide appropriate support to my clients. If we got rid of 50% of our work force, less large clients (like you no doubt) would have no advisor.

  65. Darren, like any situation to avoid bias or down right ignorance you must look at both sides of the story. This is something that you have failed to do. Everyone has failed to realize what F55 and London Life is. It is one of the most recognizable and trusted brands in the industry with over 130 years of experience. They are not forclosing, they are not scamming, nor are they asking for an $86 billion dollar bail out. They are helping the people who are not so ignorant as to condemn a company with over 30 billion in assets without even a phone call. If you have a problem with an advisor because he contacted you too much, you are way out of you league. Contact is the most important asset an advisor has. It allows him/her to gain trust. They are not routing through your garbage for your SS number they are trying to sell you products that are intangible and that is hard to do over the phone. You will find problems where ever you go. It all depends if you took the time to find out why the problem occured instead of doing the complete opposite.
    This coming from a third generation insurance rep who has seen it all, every last exscuse in the book.

  66. They have good insurance products and I own one of their policies. But I kind of agree with you Darren. I knew a bloke “in-the-know”. What’s worrisome is their HUGE turnover because they’re 100% commission-based. How can anyone work in a client’s best interest if they’re starving? Another inherent conflict is why should we listen to “advisors” barely making their own ends meet? They’re hiring continuously just to reap their employees’ bank accounts (then their family and friends finances) before they’re gone to another job.

  67. Paul Sabat
    February 21st, 2010
    9:01 am
    Here are the FACTS in point form:
    – Freedom 55 advisors are self employed –
    In theory only, what you really are is an unpaid employee (as you have to work full time and have targets to meet set by the company, true self employed people set their own hours, choose their own products, choose/purchase their own equipment and targets), yet you have to pay for your space, computer, etc which is then used to pay the fat salaries of the management. Also, self employed people do not have to provide weekly activity schedules to their directors with stupid thing like # of calls made, etc, or have quarterly reviews with their regional director, where they are forced to explain themselves and then given further targets to meet. This happens to employees only. You are a “CAPTIVE AGENT” (Unpaid employee) plain and simple.
    – They can sell over 95% of mutual funds available (not just proprietary) –
    NOT TRUE! If you sell non Quadrus funds i.e. 3rd party funds a) you earn nothing, no commission, no bonus, nothing, b) the management gets very angry and will call you in for a nice long chat.
    – They can sell London Life, Great-West Life, Sunlife and Manulife products via intercorporate agreements –
    TRUE, BUT, you get paid bonus only and commission reconition only, no actual monies earned. By the way, why did Paul include London Life in the above list? How can you have an intercorporate agreement with yourself??? Paul if you REALLY are/were at F55 you would have not included London Life, as London Life OWNS F55.
    – When necessary to meet client needs they can sell other insurance carriers products –
    Only as one off contracts and only after begging and pleading with management that “it is really in the client’s best interest”. I had to do this back in April and boy it would have been easier to deal with a government dept. Do it too many times and it will be time for another long talk.
    – Most offices require a post-graduate degree to become an advisor –
    NOT TRUE, many advisors at our office (which is one of the biggest in the GTA & country!) were new immigrants, ex-factory workers, failed business owners (yes, our office makes a serious effort to recruit people whose own businesses have failed. These include, ex-shoe shop owners, ex-auto parts owners and ex-restaurant owners) and college/university graduates who could not find any other job to do. Nobody I’ve met has anything beyond a basic degree. Even your spouse can join and in many cases does, no questions asked as long as he or she can pass the exams.
    – They encourage and pay for continuing education such as the Certified Financial Planner’s designation (CFP) among others –
    Only if you meet targets and pass 1st time. Otherwise they don’t want to know. Off course they are going to encourage continuing education as you need to meet the min. hours to keep your licences. An advisor with no licence is no good to anybody esp. F55.
    – One of the few remaining firms that higher new advisors into the business –
    Higher??? Oh, you mean hire…AGAIN NOT TRUE, so do Investors Group, RBC, Sun Life, Edward Jones, etc. And I didn’t even have to mention World Financial Group and Primercia!
    – They have the highest retention rate in the industry (over 25% versus 10% with most firms after five years) –
    NOT TRUE, average after 5 years is 10% at best, this is common knowledge around the office and in the industry As obviously the best ones leave to start their own firms or become brokers and the poor ones just leave. Since I’ve been with F55 (just over 1 year) 27 people or after me of those 5 remain! (4 joined with me, none remains). Of the 43 people who joined over the last 2 years, only 11 remain. (In case you’re wondering, I’ll be out of F55 by the end of this month, got a much more decent deal with a F55 competitor, one who actually treats you, like your clients should be treated, so I am not giving my last name so to ensure that F55 doesn’t cause me any problems on my way out.
    – They provide extensive training to start (seven weeks with minimal compensation) as well as on going support forever –
    So does everybody else including the fore mentioned companies, so whats new? An example of training at F55, would be to ask the attendees what prospecting and marketing methods they use and then select a couple and ask the attendees to go ahead and implement immediately and then at the next workshop the attendees will be grilled on how they did – thats F55 training 101.
    – They pay current advisors for referring new advisors because that is where they have the highest success (advisors know what it takes to be successful and who better to refer into the business) –
    TRUE, but be prepared to pay it back if the advisor that you referred does not pan out. Then again many professional organisations, e.g. recruiters, pay referral fees, so whats so special here?
    – It is an aging industry, which is why they need to hirer more advisors all the time (average advisor age is over 55 – in the industry, not just Freedom 55 although it is similar) –
    ????? what has this got to do with anything? Accountants, Doctors, Lawyers, etc, in fact all industries are aging, and thus need to hire more employees, ever heard of the “skills shortage in Canada”? ALSO above you said the F55 were “One of the few remaining firms that higher new advisors into the business” now the entire industry is hiring? Paul what is it?
    – Commissions are industry standard or lower (both investments and insurance) –
    VERY TRUE, generally lower e.g. most investment sellers pay 5% F55 pays 2.5%, many term providers pay 50%, F55 45%, etc (Paul I know that this was not what your were trying to point out! But hey its the truth!)
    – Freedom 55 advisors with a CFP designation can offer fee for service advice as opposed to commission –
    Paul, any advisor can do this, regardless whether they work for F55 or not! (Paul has it really come down to silly points like this now?). Go to any financial planning association website (or even http://www.moneysense.ca) which lists “For fee” planners, are you telling me that every single one of them works for F55? News for you buddy, less than 1% (if any at all) will be F55 advisors. Go ahead check it out and report back if you feel up to the challenge.
    – All Freedom 55 advisors must sign the code of ethics annually –
    Oh boy, everybody has to do this whether you are a doctor, a dentist, an advisor, a recruiter, a real estate agent, etc – this is NOT EXCLUSIVE to F55, it is part of the regulations to meet licensing requirements (Paul I’m beginning to doubt your sanity now).
    – Freedom 55 advisors get unparalleled support in every product line from specialists (Investment Consultants with Certified Financial Planning (CFP) designations, Private Wealth Councillors with Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations, Tax and Estate Planning with Chartered Accountants (CA) designations, Living Benefits Specialist with Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designations, just to name a few). –
    Paul this is going beyond funny now, are you saying that advisors who work for e.g. RBC, Sun Life, etc do not also have access to this? Even Primerica “agents” have access to these specialists. F55 DOES NOT have copyrights on these designations!
    – Have access to industry leading financial planning technology such as NaviPlan –
    Paul I suggest to go and receive the May 2009 edition of SmartMoney magazine, where Naviplan finished last amongst the 5 planning software reviewed. Ask yourself this question, if Naviplan is so go then why are so many advisors at F55 buying and using other software such as FPSolutions and why is F55 giving a discount to buy this system?
    – Freedom 55 advisors pay subsidized rent in prime office locations and pay little for technology, support and software (independents could only dream of paying so little in comparison) –
    NOT TRUE, the costs charged by F55 are sky high, $48 bi-weekly the teaming table, whether you use it or not is a rip-off and do you think paying $60 bi-weekly for 3 years for a computer which costs less than $1,000 is a bargain? Where were you during Math classes? Other companies e.g. RBC give you a computer and work area for free, and yes they also get full 24 hour support and all the other so called bells & whistles.
    – Do not post commissions of other advisors but rather credits which reflect all activity including commissionable and non-commissionable activity. –
    NOT TRUE, just log into the advisor site and click on the link on the left, near the bottom of the page and a couple of clicks later viola you can access any office in the country and see the year to date FYC of each advisor in that particular office. This is how I know that I would be #1 in 2 offices in the GTA yet only #5 at another. Paul have you ever access the advisor site, remember it is part of the so called superior support that you get, so why not make use of it? You are told about this access in training, please pay attention!
    – Has a sales process that centers around the clients needs and comprehensive fact finding to ensure the best products can be recommended –
    For heavens sake everybody does it. Paul if you didn’t do a fact find first, then how would you know what the client’s needs were and thus what you should recommend? this is common sense and you honestly think only F55 advisors do this? So all other advisors just ask the client to “spin the wheel” and see what advise it stops at? GET REAL PAUL! Is your doctor’s/acccountant’s/lawyer’s/car salesperson/etc advise centered around you and do they do a fact find (e.g. about your health, if doctor, about what you are going to use the vehicle for, is salesperson),before recommending a course of action? Of course they do, so what makes think this only happens at F55?
    This is one of the toughest industries to work in and Freedom 55 Financial provides their advisors with unparalleled support to help them succeed. Unfortunately many people are not up for the challenge of finding their own clients. There are many advisors who are great but cannot prospect. You will find them with the Banks. For those who can prospect effectively, you will find them with independent firms such as Freedom 55 Financial. In my opinion, you are far better served with one of these individuals. –
    Paul, F55 is not an ‘independent” firm it is a “Captive” agency. Only brokers are truly independent, so keep this in mind.
    Before selecting ANY Financial Advisor, ask for client references and ask lots of questions. Freedom 55 advisors are required to have clients sign a disclosure document up front which tells the client how they get paid, who they can represent and informs them of any potential conflicts of interest. The company also performs annual audits to ensure this takes place. –
    Paul, all insurance/investment companies/agencies/brokers do this and it is THE LAW in Quebec, so are you saying that this law only applies to F55 or F55 is the only finance company that operates in Quebec. Same for annual audits, can’t find anywhere where it says these are a requirement for F55 only, if you can direct me it will be much appreciated.
    Do your homework and don’t believe anonymous posts from people who don’t even understand their own problems –
    AND ALSO DON’T BELIEVE IDIOTS LIKE PAUL, WHO ARE EITHER OUTRIGHT LYING OR ARE TOO STUPID TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. PEERHAPS YOU ARE A DIRECTOR AT F55, AS THEY ARE NOTHING MORE THAN PUPPETS TO THEIR MASTERS. PAUL IF THIS IS ANY INDICATION OF HOW ETHICAL YOU ARE THEN I PRAY FOR YOUR CLIENTS. IF WE WERE IN SOME 3RD WORLD COUNTRY I WOULD HAVE SIMPLY ASSUMED THAT YOU HAD BEEN “PAID” TO WRITE THIS CRAP.
    PAUL WHY DIDN’T YOU THINK BEFORE YOU POSTED OR AT THE VERY LEAST GET THE ADVICE OF A MORE INFORMED PERSON WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT GOES ON AT F55. SHAME ON YOU.

    1. Wow James, you are dead on. Great entry.

      Of course Paul Sabat would write all of that and use the word “higher” in the wrong context. He is a F55 lifer.

      By the way James, do you know much about the Markham branch?

      1. Truth Donna, is your are responsible for your successes and failures.

        F55F will support you and get you up and running… after that you need to keep the ball rolling and that all starts with 1) seeing people 2) deepening your knowledge so you can add value.

    2. Another unsuccessful advisor.
      1) Not in theory in, reality
      2) I set my own targets, no one has ever set my targets for me… does someone help you pee too?
      3) Space: You are a franchisee… do you think Tim Horton’s corporate pays for the franchisee rent… are you kidding me. Wait if you are at the Financial Centre, do you think F55F offices are free, or maybe they have to pay rent for them and are downloading that cost to you??
      4) Hey dumbass, your director is asking you for those things to tell and help you, if you don’t want the help, leave. The #1 most important thing in this industry (or any sales job) is prospecting, my guess is that you are not making enough sales, so your manager is asking the basics to figure out why you are not being successful, do you really think he wants to babysit you?
      5) Other funds, very true… I can sell any mutual fund, front end , back end, its called contract B, now go out and sell enough and you’ll have it too.
      Nobody calls me and tells me I have to sell anything, and if they did… I would sell what is best for my client anyway.
      6) paying for education… So they want you to be motivated to pass the first time and actually learn this properly… does anyone want a financial advisor that has failed exams over and over again?
      7) I believe Paul is stating facts whereby James you are stating (and you even admit it) your opinion.
      8) No investment firm pays 5%, that is the amount dealers get, they pay you a percentage of that, yes, I agree London Life does pay 50% (or 2.5%) plus bonus… oops you forgot that, my bonus is over 65%, so that equate to over 80%, yes, I agree this is too complicated and they should change this, I have asked Alf on this.
      9) If RBC is giving you something for free, there is a cost… do your homework. Are you vested there, can you sell your block? Has to be a catch… always is.

      The cost to run your business should be about 35% of your revenue, if it not you are not investing enough in your business. If $50 bi-weekly and $100 per month for your computer is more than 35% of your business, get out quickly, you will never be successfully, go work for a bank.
      10) Advisor portal never tells you commissions, it tell you credits, Paul is right… you’re wrong. I believe it would be against the confidentiality laws to post commissions in anywhere public.
      11) Last time I checked, Canada was still a democracy, if you need to do business outside LL do it, I do all the time. The #1 advisor in the country (is in TO) and he does lots of outside business.

      James it seems to me you are the idiot, you seem so unhappy with F55F and yet it seems you still work there… You don’t you do yourself a favour and quite, I am sure you’d be happier.

  68. As a professional in this industry, here’s my (decently informed) rant:

    *****

    The reason firms like F55 get a bad rap sometimes is because, like any company in a sales industry, they hire a lot of people. Most people who try their hand at sales generally don’t manage to turn a profit, hence the high turnover rates of the industry as a whole.

    From my experience, the industry looks something like the following:

    BOTTOM TIER

    Primerica, World Financial Group, etc: These guys hire anybody and everybody. They even hold seminars trying to get people to join. Next to no support, but they will likely pay for your exams. There are good apples here, but they likely don’t stay for long and graduate to firms higher up the ladder.

    MIDDLE TIER

    Freedom 55, Investors Group, Edward Jones, most independent brokerages (including Sun Life and Manulife agents): Slightly more stringent recruiting practices, since most of these companies do offer a salary while you complete your training. Advisors hired into these firms are much more likely to be interested in financial planning, and some even join over offers at banks because they prefer the entrepreneurial aspect but are not yet able to jump directly to a more prestigious firm.

    TOP TIER

    Private wealth divisions of the major banks, Raymond James, WEPG, some of the more exclusive independent firms (Blackmont, etc.): These guys are the heavy hitters. They usually do what’s the absolute best for their clients, but you’ll need to open at least a six-figure account with them before they’ll give you the time of day. Advisors are not able to get into these firms unless they’ve had years of experience with lesser tier firms and bring with them an extensive book of business.

    What does this all mean? The level of client satisfaction goes from very low to very high as you move from lower to higher tiers. Same thing with the level of ADVISOR satisfaction on the job.

    Even at the middle tiers, clients may face advisors who have zero experience, while advisors may hate the company because they blame the company and not themselves for their lack of sales skills.

    In other words, get a grip everyone! Don’t complain that F55 is not a top tier firm – it was never designed to be one. Ironically, what’s rarely known is that London Life actually HAS a top tier firm division known as WEPG (Wealth and Estate Planning Group) which sells EXACTLY THE SAME PRODUCTS AS FREEDOM 55. The only difference is the advisors there make over $1 million a year and only do estate planning for wealthy individuals. London Life shines in this market segment because in this segment, whole life insurance actually IS by far the best estate planning option for the vast majority of clients – and it’s no secret that London Life has the best whole life insurance product in the Canadian market.

    So in short, the world is working as it should. You get what you pay for. If you don’t have a lot of $, the banks don’t care about you and their tellers try to sell you GICs. If you’re investing millions, they fall over themselves trying to get your account.

    Same thing with the financial planning firms. Unless you’re very wealthy, you’re going to be doing business with a Freedom 55, Sun Life, or Manulife advisor. Some of whom will have very little experience because they just started their career. Hence some of the previous advice about interviewing your advisors (this is very good advice – it’s your money and future, after all, so take some responsibility).

    Anyway there you go, hopefully some good insight for everyone who’s interested in learning more about the industry.

    /rant

    1. Not True… WEPG advisors do only do Estate Planning. I can assure you we do more than just Estate Planning, there is little difference between advisors working in WEPG and the top 5% of the F55F advisors.

    2. Jimmy,

      Allow me to expound a little here. Full disclosure, I am with Primerica… and have no intention of going anywhere. The overviews that we have are for convenient use of our time… it is time consuming to share information one on one. BTW, most banks hold “investment” seminars after hours along with many other kinds of seminars. I would agree with you that we don’t focus on the High net worth clients… however, that does not make us “bottom tier” I wasn’t sure if you were talking about office support or client support… but either way, we have so much support that it is overwhelming at times. We are not just about investing. We are a Full service brokerage with a mission to Educate families about how money works. We teach families to be properly protected, debt free and financially independent. In fact if the financial companies had been doing the right thing for families, we would not even exist. However, on that existence… we do not hire everybody. We do teach that anyone can do what we do, but, not everyone will. There is no test to measure the heart of a man or woman. This is why we are now the LARGEST independent financial services firm in North America…not just Canada. Also we are a publicly traded on the NYSE and you as a taxpaying canadian are a shareholder through the CPP.

      /Well informed Primerican

  69. Commenting and adding to the most recent posts (ie-james):

    “You are a “CAPTIVE AGENT” (Unpaid employee) plain and simple.

    – Sort of. As an agent for Freedom 55 you work for their organization so yes, you work directly for the firm- you use their equipment, peddle their products, and report to their bosses.
    After the training (which is about 3 months) you are on your own- (ie- 100% commission). Training pays about 500/week and draws down to nothing by week 12. There is a desk fee and a liability insurance that everyone needs to pay.

    “Most offices require a post-graduate degree to become an advisor ”

    Depends. In the place I worked a degree was recommended but not a requirement. About half the guys I worked with had one.

    “They encourage and pay for continuing education such as the Certified Financial Planner’s designation (CFP) among others”

    Sure. What company dosen’t want better educated and certified employees.

    “They have the highest retention rate in the industry (over 25% versus 10% with most firms after five years) –”

    This figure, as James said is likely false. 25% after 2 yrs, 10% after 5 is more accurate. Or after 2 yrs 4/10 guys make it and 5 yrs only of those guys is still there.

    “They provide extensive training to start (seven weeks with minimal compensation) as well as on going support forever”

    Probably the best part of Freedom 55. They pay you to study for your IFIC and “support” you with product sessions, seminars, speakers. The rest of the time you memorize these super long scripts and call your circle of prospects to test them out. Fun times.

    “Do not post commissions of other advisors but rather credits which reflect all activity including commissionable and non-commissionable activity.”

    Where I worked they had a big ole whiteboard with your name and the number of policies you sold and what kind and the commission amount so everyone knew.plus the gossip- so and so is making this much…

    Most people are not cut out to be advisors/agents. You have to be a real go-getter and a lot of contacts. Or else you ain’t gonna make it. Insurance is like real estate, a few make it big, most are starving.

  70. Hi all,

    I am a new advisor at F55 Broadway office in Vancouver. Although I have not had any background in finance, I try the very best to learn and update my skills and knowledge in financial planning area. So that my clients will reap the benefits of being well served and informed.
    I have to admit office costs are a bit high for me as a newcomer, but I wholeheartly believe in f55f’s visions and ethics of knowing your clients well before recommending any financial products to them. The office I am in does have a scoreboard, but it is used to encourage us to actually execute and reach our goals of serving more clients. There is no harm to that at all.
    I do know for a fact that we do sell other insurers’ products beside London Life’s. This greatly distinguishes us from other insurance carriers.
    Every sales job is not easy, and situation is not gonna change if you switch company. I just hope I will succeed in this one, serve the financial needs of my clients, and earn my CFP eventually.

  71. Check your facts before you spout them. London Life is not, in fact, the only one to have paid out dividends every year

  72. Daniel,

    It’s nice you have these dreams, unfortunately they will not be realized at F55F. The smarter you are the quicker you’ll find out that they only care about you until they have “milked you dry” after that whether you stay or leave doesn’t matter to them. They would have earned enough from you via their share of commissions and the sky high monthly fees.
    I hope for your sake that you find this out sooner rather than later.

    1. Daniel… Peter obviously lives in an a low rent area and has no ambition. If you think the same as him, you’ll be his neighbour and you guys can talk about how it is everyone else fault that you are unsuccessful. Peter will be leaving there for a long time so don’t worry about rushing there.

      I know the industry is tough, but with persistency, vision, passion and determination you can make your dreams come true. I am a millionaire and under 40. My next car will cost me $175,000 (Audi R8) and my home is worth well in excess of $1M. I can tell you, I have become a millionaire working for F55F, but I have also made way more millionaires (my clients). I believe with some coaching (and learn everything you can), with the right mentor (manager – although I never had one), you will be successful… Just stay away from the negative people, they will drain you of your goal and will be jealous of your success.

      Be true to yourself …. dream the big dream, I can guarantee you that if you don’t dream the big dream, you;ll never achieve big goals.

      In 10 yrs from now, guys like Peter will still be negative, still be blaming everyone but himself for not being successful.

      1. While Peter is being negative and blaming everyone else, you and I will be sipping champagne overlooking Monaco… that is what we did in 2007. I assume you’ll not be in Mexico (not sure if I’ll go -with the dangers there now), but look forward to seeing you at the next conference or next Excellence meeting. It is always nice to see new blood qualify for these things.

        Best of luck…

      2. Really Marc? Do you also work for Amway?, I say this as the promises you make in your post are almost identical to what their ‘businessowners’ say in their sales pitches!
        It’s obvious that you are a manager at F55 who has to meet his recruiting targets by all means possible.

      3. James your an idiot. If I worked for Amway, your company, where ever … I would make way more money than you… that’s obvious. What I said is true. I was in Monaco and qualify for every conference LL has. Where exactly did I recruit anyone… in fact (you idiot) I told the guy that was unhappy to leave LL and do himself a favour. If I was in management I would be hurting my own budget (net on staff). THINK!

        I would never be in management… they don’t pay enough!! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, those that can do, those that can’t manage… sorry I can.

        I would prefer clowns like you continue to work at the bank, so I can continue to earn tons of money because you don’t know how to run a business. I never asked anyone to join LL, I tried to encourage a guy that is already hired. The fact that I am making nearly $1M per year is perhaps larger than you’ll ever make, sorry but the world needs carpet cleaners too… don’t be upset.

        Daniel, yet another negative guy, stay away from him, you can see I’ve wasted more energy than he deserves.

        As an example, met one person today, first meeting. And because the people handling his file, have never asked him the simple question and actually cared for him and what his goals are for his money, estate, etc… I will be transferring in over $300,000 at the next meeting.

        It all about understanding people and what they want, and giving them what they are asking for. No manger in the country can transfer $300,000 on the first meeting…. because if they could, they would be earning $100,000 a year, when they could earn that monthly (like I almost do now)

        Most people in our industry sell the product and don’t even take the time to figure out what the client wants… that is why I successful James… don’t be jealous James, go do it too, but obviously not with LL, as I certainly don’t want negative people like you working anywhere near me.

        See Daniel, here is a perfect example of someone who is jealous of someone successful.

        Ignore these people, and plug away. Have a vision and follow it… don’t follow the negativity, you’ll end up like James or Peter…. broke.

  73. A friend’s advisor took off somewhere and it apparently happens a lot. Freedom 55 is only after the new recruit’s bank account and then their family and friend’s finances. For 90% of new advisors, it’s too difficult to continue after that. It’s true, they will suck you dry, then you’re free to go whichever way you want. Be careful with these guys.

    1. That right Rhiannon, LL invest that money to hire someone to get the little bit of money from them & their friends. Maybe, just maybe you buddy’s advisor could not sell and sales was not for him. It’s ok, just because he can’t sell, does not mean he can not still be your friend.

      It does not mean F55F is crooked, it means you friend can’t sell… that’s it. If he can’t sell would you like him o continue not making any money, or should he leave?

  74. In my opinion the writer is no more reputable that those he criticizes. He’s trashing an entire company based on his experience with one advisor. And it would appear from some comments on here that readers are like sheep, blindly following his lead. F55 and London Life are very reputable companies.

  75. I started with London Life as a F55 advisor in October and to date I have exceeded all quarterly targets (will receive those “nice” framed certificates) and am on schedule to complete my new advisor targets well before the mandated F55 deadline, based on my own efforts (via existing clients), no thanks to F55. I am up there on those “Top advisor” boards which Marc is blind to even though every office has them. I have to say that James pretty much hits the nail on the head with his post.

    My main beef is that I run a successful mortgage brokerage and tax business and in July I received an email from a ‘director’ from a F55 office who insisted on meeting with me as he thought that financial planning would be a nice addition to my business. He assured me that me being a F55 advisor would not effect my current businesses because I would be an “Independent Business Owner” with the freedom to split my time between being a F55 advisor and my current businesses as I wished.
    Now that I am contracted, F55 insists that all mortgages must go through London Life mortgages and not my own brokerage and also that I should cut back my time from January to May on my tax business (which I’ve been doing for that past 22 years) and instead spend it on my F55 business. When I asked what I should do with my tax clients, his response “Direct them to another tax advisor”. Wow what a genius, why don’t I think of that!

    If F55 does not back down on these conditions then I will leave (and take those clients with me, whether they like it or not). So the ball is in their court.

    A senior advisor insists that Marc is a Regional Director who is ready to say anything to protect his masters and ensure his office remains in London life’s good books.
    Although Marc has also been a successful advisor he has done so on the “me” principle, i.e. ensuring that he made money first, with his client’s interests coming second.
    Shame on you Marc.

    1. S Gupta… shame on you…

      Sorry, Mr Gupta that your experience with F55F has been so bad. When I started, they clearly told me that you could only be engaged in 1 occupation… to my knowledge that has not changed, but I have seen other people doing other things. Here is the problem as I see it.
      1) I think if you are doing more than 1 thing, it is impossible to do anything at 100%. I have yet to see a very successful business owner that can do more than 1 thing extremely well, those that do, have the right people and are able to leverage themselves, clearly you are not able to do this.
      2) Pick either the tax preparation business or F55F, you decide what has more opportunity.

      Make the decision and put your energy behind one thing, that will make you more successful if not at least happier.

      I am sorry you are jealous of my success. I certainly have enjoyed some and the reason (I think you missed it), is because I give clients excellent advice. I actually care what their goals are, and listen to their dreams intently, then develop a plan to help them achieve what they want. The reason I make so much money, is because (again I think you missed this, but after hearing your complaints, I am not surprise, as you don’t really listen) I help people achieve what they want and put their interest first always. Once you put their interest first, you’ll get your just rewards, money, trips, etc…

      Marc is not a regional director, again you don’t listen, they make far too little money and have to babysit guys like you. I am 100% an advisor; listen don’t be jealous, find your calling and be successful… what ever that means to you. I certainly have relationships with mortgage brokers, and never has anyone from F55F told me that I need to put all my mortgage business through our mortgage broker. Again if you actually listened, I clearly stated that even if they did, I would not listen… I run my business the way I see fit, not the way someone else feels I should.

      I am very much familiar with the bulletins ( I think that is what you are talking about) and yes, don’t be jealous, my company is always near the top in my region, but once again you did not listen or read properly… I did not say they did not exist, I said they do not say how much commissions someone earns, they say how many credits you have earned. I am sure if you client said they want to earn $40,000 a year in retirement, you would understand what that means and not ASSume they are saying another number. Once you actually listen to what someone is saying (or writing), Mr Gupta you will be way more successful.

      I do taxes as well, for a very limited number of clients, mostly older folks that I see many places, like H&R block (not just H&R block, listen)take advantage of them. Charging them $100 to do they return is highway robbery. I do it for them for free, most give me gifts to thank me. I am sure you are aware, there is a form you have your client say that F55F is not responsible for their tax returns, you are. So I am again unclear why the complaint, you certainly can do taxes if you choose to. AGAIN YOU MAKE THAT DECISION.

      My suggestion to you Mr Gupta, is find what makes you excited, and do that right, because unlike you (again you do not listen… likely the reason neither of your practices are making any “real” money) I am in charge of myself, the only master I recognize is myself (ok, maybe the wife at home).

      As well, to your comment about me looking after myself first, should I apologize for that? Reading your post, looks like to me… wait for it, you’re looking out for yourself. Let me repeat (see I listen) what you said… If F55F does not back down on these conditions then I will leave… so who is this serving exactly??? I think you should leave if you are not happy and more excited about your other business, because if you are doing a little in this business, a little in that business, who exactly is that serving… you or your clients? You cannot be a specialist at everything, the sooner you realize this, the sooner your clients will benefit… or eventually they will leave. Make a decision, build a business plan, market and work the plan properly every day and one day, you’ll understand what it means to be successful in your chosen field and then you’ll apologize to me for not listening to what I said. For the third time… I am not in management, I am in my own practice, just because I believe that each person is responsible for their own success, and failures (that is what it means to be a free person), does not make me management, it makes me lucky to live in a place and be in a chosen profession that has allowed me to do what I want, when I want, for who I want and make a few bucks along the way. For me, this industry, F55F or other has been very good to me (by my standards), that’s it and I have done it by always putting the client’s interest first, and I do that better than most and that it why I have gotten well rewarded for my efforts. I have worked hard to become the advisor I would expect if I was the client, and firmly believed that if I did (and I know what to look for far more than the average Canadian) the practice would flourish and guess what… it has.

      Don’t be jealous, find your calling and you may be successful as well. First recommendation, listen to what people say, don’t go in with preconceived ideas.

      1. Hey S Gupta forgot a couple of things.

        You are:

        1) Mortgage broker
        2) Tax preparer
        3) Financial Advisor

        what will you add in April, heart surgeon?

        Again, I believe you can only do 1 thing well, even as a financial advisor there is way too many products lines and products to ever be close to an expert at all of them, you’ll hopefully realize that one day.

        You also said you hit all the targets with F55F, which targets are those… yours? or someone else’s? If they are yours, they I think you set your targets way too low, or this business will likely be very good to you. If they are someone else’s targets… shame on you. You need to take ownership of your business and its direction.

        Sorry, if you prefer I can be nice, and say keep up the good work… and in 3 yrs, you’ll also be blaming F55F for your failures, or someone else… I know it’s always someone else’s fault. I understand, you’re right.

      2. If this senior advisor is trully telling you this…that I am a RM, than he is not successful, because if he was, he would know who I am. We are always the same people at RPRP, Leaders confernce, excellence, etc. and he would know who I am.

      3. You are a shameless selfish man – and a good actor at that!
        You are a money-skimmer, a leech on the working public. You woo people to buy the product that pays you the most and you are a damn good salesman. Money first, people second.

        You are pathetic. Stay away from these sharks.

  76. From my understanding Freedom 55 is 100% commission-based. Thus, there is greater chance sales lean to what benefits THEM rather than client’s best interest (regardless of ethical policies they claim are in place). Plus, suggestions exist that most don’t last even a year or two. What credible company allows such turnover; this does not reflect well.

    “Advising” seems relationship-based; they don’t require formal business education, aside from licensing. Having said that, surprising how previous commentator attained professional success if becoming so dramatically bent out of shape in dialogue in a forum of this type.

    Simple advice is, unless you’ve got a heck of a lot going on, personal finance isn’t rocket science for most: just read and research a bit on your own – it’s worth the investment. They may have fancy software we don’t but they’re not absolutely necessary.

    1. Great post Nigel.

      Lacornish, ever heard of the following words “research”, “reading a book”, I expect you were born with all that information already in your head.

  77. I am not bent out of shape… I am tired of people not taking accountability for their actions and then blame everyone but themselves. This could be on a multitude of stuff, just so happens I am an expert in this industry, but the same could be said for any industry.

    London Life is not 100% based on commissions (or does not need to be) one can charge fees for planning, but most Cnds are not willing to go down the road of fees… even though I can demonstrate over and over again that my fee is well worth it, people prefer to have that hiding in their investments. I give them the choice. Let’s be honest… banks make markup on their investments too, banks do NOTHING for free, but because that is done in the name of profits (made on our and their employees backs) makes this ok?? And for those fees, what service to they provide exactly?
    Let me know the next time the bank calls to review your investments (truly). Most branches in Canada serve 10,000 people or more. How do they provide them proper advice with that number of clients… the answer … you and I both know… they don’t… but they still make profits, lots of them, and instead of reinvesting that profit in their clients, they aim for larger and larger profit margins. Increase service fees, while reducing services. I’m sure you pay $15 or more a month for service fees, what service exactly is the bank providing for that fee? Allowing me to give them my money, give me no interest and then charge me.

    Commissions are not automatically bad….or make people do the wrong thing, its like that old saying guns are not bad… by themselves they cannot kill. Bad (unethical) people abuse commissions, but bad people steal too. Not everyone that works on commissions is bad, my belief is that eventually the industry and consumers flush out the guys who only work for their gain. In times when markets are down (like 2008) more of them get flushed out.

    If personal finance is such easy and not rocket science… help everyone here… explain why you should trigger an estate freeze, what is the most beneficial investments to hold in your holding company, why a holding company, and what should be in it, and why, how to avoid kiddy tax in a family trust, why you would set up testamentary trusts, how much do you need to retire (a number) with full explanation and I could go on and on…

    Yes I agree.. if you “work” for the gvt and have no education, make your $40K and go drink all your income on the weekends, no planning needs to be done… but don’t plan to travel too far or too often when you retire, work your 35 yrs, get your pension (hopefully you’ll still be alive)

    The fancy software is no benefit I agree, and if you have not had a good advisor that does not show you any benefit to work with him, I agree with you… why would you work with him? But on the other hand if an advisor adds value to your situation, why would you not engage him?

    1. And engage this guys whether he works for the bank, F55F or whomever, the point is there are good advisors (and bad ones) everywhere, don’t simply lump all F55F guys bad because of a couple of bad apples… if we did that there would be no good people (everyone has bad days), no good companies, etc….anywhere in the world.

      And don’t go on any website and blame everyone else for your situation in the world… look in the mirror and do what you need to, no one else is going to do it for you.

  78. Marc you are one sick person, please get professional help, before you do something stupid in your current mental state.

    Lacornish are you really Marc in disguise, I say this because the tone of the message, the style of writing and over the top claims are the same as Marc.
    Perhaps Marc has realized that he has already made an enough of a fool of himself so he thought that it may be a time to change names.

  79. I am a CFP and work through a small firm for mutual funds and have an MGA for life products. I have recently been doing a lot of fee for service financial planning. This way I cam recommend any investments or insurance the client needs, I get zero commission unless they ask for my help in getting specific products. In some cases I will use low fee F class funds and charge 0.25-0.75 management fee on the portfolio. No DSCs, no conflict of interest. I interviewed with F55F before I entered the business and it left a foul taste in my mouth. I hate cold calls and everything I’ve seen since has told me I made the right decision going with a small independent, no quotas, no supervisors, my own book, my own pace.

  80. Sorry, Mary you’ll have to explain. Research… I have 6 designations… how many do you have? Having the information already in my head… I will take as a compliment, you telling me that I am smart. Thx
    Mary these are just words, any tone you think is in this email, is you adding it.
    Sick… not so much… tired perhaps… tired of people blaming everyone but themselves. The only stupid thing I’ve done, is come across this site and actually wasted time on it.

    I work for myself and have a contract with F55F and do charge exactly the same as you Tom. I also don’t really have a supervisor (no more than you do.. I suspect) and certainly can use F class funds, and certainly own my book. I have not made a cold call in easily 15 yrs, have no quota, and certainly determine my pace of work. I really don’t see the difference (and I also have a contract through an MGA) between MGAs and so called captive agents (at least F55F). Truthfully with my MGA contracts & my F55F contract that allows me to sell just about anything. That being said even if most are so called independent, I’m sure you’ll agree that you place a majority of your business with a couple of companies, as you likely get better support from them, understand their products better and can make better recommendations than trying to be an expert with every companies and every product. That is impossible. I see that the same as me placing my business with F55F, they provide me with good support, have a full suite of product, are a Tier 1 company, etc… just like any good companies.

    I think the support that F55F gives a young person starting out in this industry is perhaps amongst the best. Having a boss (manager) that truly has your success top of mind and partners in your success, I do not see that as a bad thing. I agree a manager that just annoys you, is not good. Again there are good and bad managers, just like there are good and bad advisors.

    I am unclear what conflict of interest you have Tom, just because you sell a product? The fact that you get paid by commissions (and you do when you sell them a product) or by fees… I don’t see the conflict if you always keep the client’s interest first. If you sell them the best product for their situation and get paid for it, where is the conflict? Perhaps commissions can lead a person that would not do the sale with the client’s best interest in mind to recommend the wrong thing, but I hope that eventually these people get flushed out of the system. I also know that as your production with your MGA grows, so does your payout(or bonuses, whatever you want to call it) grow to a higher %.

    That, to my knowledge, is the same in most industries. I know that companies that buy-sell lots of product (I.e. Walmart) get better pricing from their suppliers than smaller companies… it is just the way the world works, the more you sell, the more profit margin you “qualify” for.

    From my experience, charging fees works for some clients, those with better means. I see DSCs, etc as vital to helping the smaller clients. The ones that would not be able (or want) to pay fees even if they are likely the ones that would benefit most from having a GOOD financial advisor. I can demonstrate a multitude of cases, where I have helped multiple (not just add) Net Worth and the client choose to not pay the fee, but go on a DSC schedule. I think if you give your clients/prospects the choice and they make the decision… I don’t see anything wrong with that. I agree if you don’t give them the choice… maybe that is not as good. Of course, you should have clients sign an engagement letter that clearly explains fees, DSC schedules, etc… We also use it to establish a service standard so the client understands exactly what they are paying for. In that way it adds to the relationship instead of just being a compliance thing.

    It sounds like you are happy in the industry, so continued success.

  81. Here is a perfect example of a Freedom 55/Quadrus advisor looking after his clients:

    By IE Staff

    MFDA permanently bans ex Quadrus fund salesman
    Unbecoming conduct results in $22,500 fine

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    The Mutual Fund Dealers Association has permanently banned a former Ontario fund salesman and insurance agent for his conduct with clients, and for failing to co-operate with an MFDA investigation.

    At a hearing held Monday in Toronto, an MFDA panel accepted the settlement agreement between Calogero (Charlie) Arcuri and MFDA staff.

    Arcuri was registered in Ontario as a mutual fund salesperson with Quadrus Investment Services Ltd. from March 5, 2002 to March 15, 2007. He was also registered as an agent with London Life Insurance Company, from January 18, 2002 to March 15, 2007.

    In the settlement agreement, Arcuri admitted that:

    – he failed to deal with clients BET and AM fairly, honestly and in good faith, and engaged in conduct which was unbecoming and detrimental to the public interest with respect to JM and MT; and

    – he failed to attend to give information as requested by the MFDA.

    As a consequence of the settlement. Arcuri is permanently prohibited from conducting securities related business in any capacity, must pay a fine in the amount of $22,500, and must pay costs in the amount of $2,500.

    Arcuri was terminated as an approved person by Quadrus and as an agent by London Life on March 15, 2007, and is no longer registered in any capacity in the securities industry.

    1. Not the same Marc… you are kidding me right… 1 guy that is fined by MFDA, fired by LL and you think this is a full picture of F55F.

      therefore, former Colonel Russell must be the same as every military person… they are all sickos like him.

      Do people actually think before they enter things on blogs… I guess I know the answer to that question.

  82. @Marc: Hi Marc, my name is Timothy Ma and I’m in my first year with Freedom. I have a Bachelor’s in Finance and despite my reservations against Freedom initially, I listened to my directors and simply persisted with competence. I am doing well but I am always looking for greater opportunities. I read a few of your posts in this thread and am interested to hear about how you operate your practice. Could we exchange emails?

  83. Thanks for the email Tim… Just returned home Sunday late from Calgary (Excellence). It was an ok conference, the Royals were staying at our hotel, and the day we went golfing was very windy. This should be enough for you to verify that I was in fact in Calgary. What office are you out of, and who is your director?

    I am not so comfortable giving my contact information as you can see I am a straight shooter and for some reality is hard to accept. All that being said, I also am very free to share my 15 yrs plus of experience. I am by no means claiming that I have the perfect practice (and do mean that), but do have a business plan.

    The questions I would ask you Timothy…and this may be difficult as you are new to the industry ( I assume) and perhaps fairly young?
    What is your goal(s) in the industry?

    I will give you some idea of when I started… We made phone calls (as rookies) every Thursday night to book our meetings for the following week. Not only were the rookies there, but also the #1 salesperson in our office and he was 60 yrs old.

    In my mind, a successful business owner by that age should be far removed from the day to day stuff like booking meetings (certainly on Thursday evenings) and by that age I hoped (and still do) to work about 6-8 months a yr, with all my appointments booked, the office running very smoothly, etc…

    So I would recommend giving that some thought.

    I am sure you have been told, if not what is management doing again? there is two hats you wear… 1) Entrepreneur and
    2) Financial Advisor

    Start with the ideal business situation… what you want to strive for. That would be the entrepreneurial side of the equation. I have already shared mine above

    The advisor side would be why would a client deal with me over anyone else? What is my client value proposition? To help figure that out, the question I asked myself was… What would I expect if I was a significant client?

    I am about 2 yrs away from being in a serious position to bring on any junior advisors. My practice is not 100% organized and it would not be fair to my staff or the junior advisor to bring them in until that is done. Also, my junior or associates will need to share similar views on client service, business management, values, etc… which I truly have not given my thought to on how to measure that. When I bring on someone, they will have the ability to work their way to ownership or not depending on.. of course production.

    I should also state that I do not have an endless amount of clients. I personally believe for me to be successful both in business and in life, I need a balance. I want to provide in depth service (and I really mean it) to my clients, but want a life outside of my practice. To do that, I believe my clients deserve 2 meetings/yr and much more contact than that. I do not believe that I could manage more that about 200-250 families. If you do the math that is only 400-500 meetings per year. I am somewhat selective of the clients I engage and have an idea of the recurring revenue I want to earn based on those 200-250 families.

    That being said, I am not opposed to acquisitions. I believe any successful business needs to be open to grow earnings through either organic growth or growth through acquisitions (just like when GWL bought LL). I do believe you need a strategy for each section. A marketing plan for organic growth and a checklist (which I have) for acquisitions. If you do acquire, a business plan on how you will go and see this clients should be a requirement from head office.

    Now at 1yr in the business, I was happy if the person in front of me fogged a mirror… now the starting point is a little higher.

    I will look you up and contact you in some form… give me the summer and you will have heard from me in some form, or I will have contacted your director. In the meanwhile Timothy good luck… I personally believe that you have made a great decision joining F55F but more importantly I believe you are in the second best industry (after professional athlete) and wish you much success… whatever that means to you.

    I can promise you that if we hook up in some form… I will challenge you!! I believe that is the only way you’ll grow.

    I will no longer be posting on this site, as my reputation is too important to bother here. I hope some of the thoughts (not just for Timothy) have ben helpful to both advisors and clients…

    Both the client and the advisor hold some responsibility in the relationship… although I believe it is 80% (advisor), 20% (client) or something like that.

    As a client, do your initial homework on the advisor and ask for his business plan. For the advisor actually have a business plan.

  84. I was an advisor for Freedom55 or Pyramid55 Financial to more correctly name this company.

    Every customer is a possible scalp. They will try to sell you permanent insurance, because this pays the advisor and the advisors manager the most amount of money in commissions (Inflation makes those cash values worthless over time). Advisors are on ZERO salary so 100% commission – so talk about a PRESSURE SALESMAN!!!! lol, don’t be fooled by their suits and ties.

    Stay far away 🙂

  85. The banks do the exact same thing as Pyramid55 Financial – just their workers are on salary so they have no incentive to push you into a certain product.
    I don’t work at a bank, I just worked for Pyramid55 Financial for 3 years and I know the industry very well.

    In addition to no salary, Advisors actually PAY the company monthly fees (starting at $500..and ranging much much higher for things like secretary support etc. things that are free at other companies) just to sit in the office (pay for cubicle or just sit at the teaming table, or pay big for an office) The guys with the offices sell the most permanent insurance and are very good at getting clients locked into these plans. With the way the world is printing money right now, the cash values in those permanent insurance policies are going to be worthless shortly and I expect many lawsuits going to freedom and london life.

    I would stay far far away from these desperate, glorified salespeople.

    Cheers 🙂

    1. The banks do the same thing as F55F… Yah right. When was the last time any (and I mean anyone) had their banker drfat them a retirement planner, called them for a review, actually had an opinion on the markets, knew what the 250 rule on UL was, helped reduce estate settlement costs, or actually sold someone else’s product other than their own.

      What Ryan means is you should stay away from people (at F55F or other) that have nothing to add to your situation. Ryan obviosuly did not take his job seriously and was not able (after 3 yrs) to add any value to his client’s offering. Wow and he was not successful.

  86. It is almost comical the comments that come out here about Freddom 55.
    Saying its a pyramid? this is laughable. Of course managers and executives get bonuses based upon the performance of the advisors. In every company, in any industry, managers and execs get paid more, the more the sales people sell. Shocking I know……

    As far as paying for office space? of course you do who else will? think of Freedom 55 as a realestate company. You are on your own. to put down them is like saying, i will never work with Remax because i had a bad agent.

    WEPG is Freedom 55/london life. For those that don’t know, this is a group of Canadas most successful financial planners..and no, that is not just an opinion, this is provable fact.

    Any advisor, from London life, Investors Group, Dundee Wealth..whoever, can be good or can be bad. To be so ignorant as to call any company a scam or a pyramid shows complete ignorance, immaturity and lack of understanding of not only the financial services industry but business as a whole.

  87. These are HIGH PRESSURE SALESPEOPLE you most certainly would like to avoid.

    I had a meeting with one of them who didn’t even know what he was talking about, and was clearly trying to steer me into “20-paid” insurance which I assume is the permanent insurance, they were trying to really push me into that. Didn’t seem to matter what I said, they just kept pushing this product.

    I said I didn’t want to meet again and they were like a pitbull locked onto its prey, kept calling me again and again trying to get me back in.

    Stay away and go to the financial planner at your bank! they are not on full commission.

    1. Curtis, you said you meant with ONE Freedom 55 Advisor… why are you so ignorant to say they are all the same? From one to all is a big stretch and really shows ignorance.

      1. You are an insurance salesman aren’t you?

        Answer me this: What pays you the highest commission – A participating insurance policy, or a term insurance policy (less expensive)?

        Answer me this: When you transfer over someones funds or start a new account for them, do you get paid more in commissions if you lock that client in for 7 years (“DSC’d”) or if you leave their money alone so that they have easy access to it?

        Simple questions, I bet you don’t answer them. It would make you uncomfortable if the general public knew how you operate wouldn’t it…

    1. ‘Lock’ you into a permanent insurance policy? Please clarify, I’ve never heard of ‘Locking” you into a policy.

  88. This is what the financial salespeople at Freedom 55 Financial are trying to sell to you (because it pays them the most in commissions compared to other financial products): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzgtWfQngII&feature=related

    Here is another opinion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7VOZnJy7lE&feature=related

    haha, this post will get the salesmen who come on here to protect themselves and Freedom 55 Financial’s reputation’s blood boiling. Enjoy boys! A healthy dose of the truth.

    1. How much exactly does the salesman at Freedom 55 Financial get for this whole life thing vs other financial products? Contemplating visiting an advisor but weary of straight-commission types.

      1. They get roughly the yearly amount of the premium in commissions. So that is why the permanent insurance (20-pay insurance) is pushed so hard – plus the bonus is slightly higher on 20-pay insurance so it must be the most profitable product from the company’s point of view.
        So, if you signed up for $200/month 20-pay insurance policy = the advisor will make $2400 for that sale.
        If they sell you funds, they make very very little on that sale. They only make money on Fund sales if the amount of money is very large or if they “DSC” or “Low Load” it – this means your money is locked in for 7 or 3 years respectively. you will be penalized if you try to take money out during that timeframe, for whatever reason emergency or not.
        Also, as advisors sell more insurance, their insurance bonus goes up. The fund bonus rate and the insurance bonus rate float seperately so that is why most advisors will lean heavily towards either funds or insurance depending on which bonus that particular advisor is trying to keep elevated at that time. So the same advisor may advise different things to you if you come to him and 2 different times of the year – depending on where his bonuses are, they don’t want their bonus to drop below certain points.
        Scam55financial keeps a Canada-wide competitive “leaderboard” for insurance and fund sales to the public. It is a competitive environment to sell as many “20-pays” as possible to anyone who will bring a cheque to a meeting !!

        Go to the bank Leanne 🙂

      2. Curtis, you have no idea what you are talking about?

        20 pay life policy is actually the least profitable product for the company on its permanent side…. this is because you only pay premiums for 20 yrs. A policy you pay for your whole life is OBVIOUSLY more profitable for the company. That’s simple grade 1 math. Your ignorance is obvious.

        Yes, I am a commission salesperson… and do not feel a need to apologize.

        I assume when you get a raise at work and earn more you feel like you should be paid more.

        If you buy a product like the 20 pay life and it saves you and/or your estate $1,000,000, does it matter that I get paid? If I sold you a term policy and got less, but you died after the term expired and cost your estate/beneficiary $1,000,000 how would you feel about me getting less commissions then?

        I should also inform you that I would actually get paid more (over the long term) with a term policy, because once the 20 pay is paid up, I don’t get paid anything anymore. But if you keep taking the renewal for the term because you need insurance, then I keep getting paid as long as the policy stays in force, and that could potentially be much longer than 20 years.

        If the 20 pay life is the right product for your situation, why would you not buy it, regardless of how much I get paid. If the 20 pay life policy is not the right product for your situation, why would you buy it?????

        For the DSC fee… the question is not really whether I get paid more…. which I know you really don’t care… is whether I actually added value to your situation. If I or another advisor do not add value to your situation or you think you can do this all yourself, why would you pay any advisor (bank or other) any commissions? That would be again stupid on your part.

        If I increase your net worth by 300% does it really matter on the DSC fee? Certainly advisors at F55F can charge a fee for service. So if I gave you the choice of paying $3000 fee for service or charging you a DSC for my services, which would you prefer?… because to me it makes no difference!! But don’t expect to get my advice for free, that advice is available at your local bank branch… Its called no advice… You ever heard the old saying… you get what you pay for!

        Good luck to you! I am quite confident the person at the bank will be able to help you draft a retirement plan and give you updates on your progress towards your goals, load your portfolios with only the top fund managers for every asset class, save your estate and yourself potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, help determine whether you should incorporate, put a risk management plan together for you and your family, help you with your company pension plan, help you with your cash flow management, credit risk, be available for reviews bi-annually and contact you (in a form or another) 15 times per year. I am also sure, he will waive all your bank fees, help you get the best mortgage product in the industry and best rates, etc…. I could go on and on for hours.

        For the record, if you buy at $200/mth 20 pay policy from me, I will make more than $2500 and I certainly don’t feel a need to apologize. But if I sell you this product you’ll need it’s the right fit for your situation.

        Yes, the bonus does go up depending on what you sell more of… what business does this not happen?
        I think the advisor’s actually specialize not because of bonus rates, but because becoming a specialist (just like a heart surgeon over a generalist) adds more value to their clients. Specialist make more $$ than generalist because they add more value. As well, no one in the world came become a true specialists in all areas of financial planning (of course except for those people at the banks making $45,000 per year). It is impossible. Sure for MOM and POP both working at the government and never really building any wealth, perhaps the bank is best for them, but to say a specialist in the financial services industry is not worth his money is just idiotic.

        Curtis, it’s obvious to me your worked for F55F and were not successful and now it’s everyone fault but your own, why don’t you man up and take the blame for being unsuccessful.

        The “leaderboard” is common in all sales environments and to a lessen extend in all companies. You think guys/gals working for Scotia McLeod, Subway, Realtors, car dealerships don’t know how much their counterparts are selling…. you are kidding me right? You think Subway HQs does not know the sales of all their location in the world? Come on, you are not that naive are you??

        All companies have an earnings projections, etc. Tell me which stock would you buy if the company had no projections for earnings in the future, or report on earnings today? I also believe you would likely compare a couple of companies to determine which is a better investment.

        I believe the company wants their clients to be well served. if that means selling their clientele a 20 pay policy because it’s the best product for the situation sounds like the right thing to do. I can tell you every company in the industry wishes they had a 20 pay policy, because it is the best permanent product in our industry (in my estimation and I am way more informed than you are). The Par fund for LL is the largest Par fund in Canada and has a very solid history. They have not change premiums since I started some 15 yrs. ago. I am sure you are aware term has seen many re-pricings and does almost yearly, all ULs have been through price increases and more are coming.

        If you had bought a significant 20 pay some 20 yrs. ago, it would have been your best investment (likely) over the last 10 yrs, with extremely low volatility.

  89. I watched your Suzie Orman video and she obviously needs to be taken off the air, or educated a little.

    I agree with her, if this family is in the wealth accumulation phase of life. If they are not meeting their retirement plans, or have significant debt, the advisor should be fired, and I would have no problem telling them that.

    My guess is this was you Curtis. You tried to sell the wrong product to the wrong person, and then wondered why you were not very successful.

    I believe permanent insurance does have a place. It is by far the cheapest way to pay for final expenses. Also what happens when you build up a large nest egg and it has tax implications to it. Needing Cap Gains, RRSP/RRIF taxes… Permanent life insurance can certainly reduce the estate shrinkage.

    Easy example: $2,000,000 in RRSPs (with no real need for them in retirement)

    What would Suzie Orman have you do, give the CRA $1,000,000 (assuming 50% tax for ease)? or a life insurance company $250,000 (assuming a joint last to die policy). Wow, in this case, I would have her sued for $750,000 (the extra taxes due to estate due to poor advice), just like this advisor should be sued if he gave bad advice.

    There is other planning areas where permanent life insurance plans a nice role such as back 2 back annuities, especially when executed younger and especially nice with corporate moneys, and great for conservative clients. It also outperforms many fixed income investments with preferred tax treatment.

    Suze is good advice for the average person, I think the danger occurs when she gives general advice without knowing the particulars of each situation, and tries to fit 1 piece of advice for everyone, just does not work. She is taking a bazooka to heart surgery!!

    1. Suzie Orman’s most hated financial product is permanent/whole life insurance (20-pay). It is her most hated because it does more for the salesman who sold it to you than it does for you.

      I realize you are trying to make money off people by selling them these financial “products” but can’t you choose something that is good for both parties?

      How do you sleep at night?

      1. sleep fine.. Suzie Oman knows nothing about the 20 pay. She is living in the US and 20pay in Canadian.

        I bet you I could change her mind about what she says in about 20 minutes of talking with her. Not saying 20 pay life, but permanent insurance. Ask her if she is up for the challenge or just ask her… (again the tax rules are different in the US and I am not 100% sure their products are the same). what would she do to reduce estate shrinkage due to taxes do on estates…

        Give her the example I gave you above… it very simple, and I gave a quick answer, but ask her.

        Some time the strategy is different, we deplete RRSP moneys and move them to TFSAs, or RESPs, or leave them to charity, etc… it depends what the client needs/wants.

  90. has anyone here ever done the math on how much a bank makes off their average customer and then determined whether they feel they are getting value.

    Let’s do it.

    Lets make the following assumptions (my guess is this are on the low side).

    Average mortgage; $200,000 @ 4%
    Average account size $100,000 @ 1,5% Mers
    Average loan size $25,000 @ 7%
    Average service fees: $25/mth
    Average branch has $10,000 customers

    So the annual revenue the banks gets (assuming no other fees, etc… which of course there is).

    Mortgage: $8000
    Mers: $1500
    Loan: $1750
    Fees: $300

    Total: $11,550.00 per year per client
    take that number and multiple *10,000

    Now that you know that number… d you feel like the bank has offered you the services worthy of $11,550 because this is easily the revenue they drive from their customers.. So the next time, they hit you with another service fee… remember this number, the net time they do not draft a plan because they don’t have enough staff to offer proper services to their customers… remember how much they make off you…

    I can guarantee that if any financial advisor in Canada was getting that kind of revenue from his client base, the advice would be well worth the revenue… you be getting tax advice, investment advice, mortgage advice, loan advice, insurance advice, etc…. all from experts… the bank does not want to spend that money getting you experts because it would squeeze their profits too much.
    So who is the bank looking out for???

    1. Your post is a perfect example of the old saying “you can’t win an argument with an idiot.”

      haha.

      But seriously, most people make around $40,000 per year. The government comes and takes about $15,000 so that leaves the average person with $25,000. Then YOU are saying that their bank comes along and takes $11,500.00 from them each year.

      This leaves the average person with $13,500.00 per year with which to buy food for themselves and pay for their car, children etc.

      Clearly your logic could use some tweaking, no?

      At the end you justify that “if any financial advisor in Canada was getting $11,500.00 per year from each client that the advice would be well worth the revenue”. So you think it would be reasonable for you to charge each of your clients $11,500.00 per year for your advice? Since I worked at Freedom 55 Financial for 4 years I know that your “advice” is really just tied selling and the steering of your clients into putting as much money as possible into the product which pays you the most in commissions (permanent/whole life/20-pay life insurance).

      You sir are a shark in a suit.

      Merry Christmas

      1. Ps. “Yah Right”, If you are such a knight in shining armor to the public in terms of “financial services” then why don’t you post your real name and which office you work out of/phone number ?

        That way the general public can call you – possibly increasing your DSC’d (locked-in) fund sales, and of course your 20-pay sales 😉

        C’mon man, man up.

  91. WOW curtis… I will try and help you do the math child… obviously you need the help.

    The average person makes $40,000. In which province do you think the gvt takes $15,000 of it. Let’s use accurate numbers please…. it will actually make you look like you know what you are talking about. At most they would take $10,000. In ON they would take $6000 for taxes (combines fed and prov), $2000 roughly for CPP and $700 (roughly) for EI.

    Curtis try and have the actual numbers.
    How do your numbers work with the bank…. hey.
    Ok, the average person making $40,000 likely can’t afford a mortgage and likely has no assets to speak of, so really that person only gets service fees… until they get married or have enough money to start to save for their retirement and can afford a house.

    How do you see the numbers? Do you live in the same world as the rest of us? When you earn enough money to buy your first house… let me know what your rate is and how much mortgage you have… then do the math. Once you are able to save some money and buy investments… what do you think that is free? There is management fees, that either the bank or LL or whomever collect… here I was using a low MER because we are talking the bank.

    Curtis… it was obvious you worked for LL and obviously you were not very successful and now you are blaming everyone else. I do tons of volunteer work on financial literacy and will be designing a campaign for a large association in Canada that will be used likely be its members across Canada… much of what we can talk about (on this site) will benefit Canadians.

    Curtis, you are sadly mistaken… I make way more money on money products than I do on life insurance, and I am a proponent of buy term and invest the difference for a large % of Cnds, but not all. I easily sell 60-80 term policies per year and perhaps 20 or so 20 pay lives per year…. In the right situation they can be the right product.

    None of what I sell is tied selling… what are you talking about? I did not say that I earned $11,500 per client for my advice, but if I had 10,000 clients paying my firm $11,500 per year, we would have CFAs on staff for investments, CAs on staff for tax planning, estate planning lawyers available if needed, business valuators, etc… all the top in their field to add value to our clients, why does the bank not? Why do you think the bank doesn’t? We would also offer them the best savings rates in Canada. What your bank pay you on your savings account? I can get you 1.75% on any deposit… no minimums, no fees, etc… and I don’t need to take a reduced commission to do it, don’t need to “negotiate”. The bank (once you buy your first house you’ll see) will pretend like they are giving you the best mortgage rate they can… (don’t forget they have everything else and get $$ from you for various things), but you can get a better rate (without this silly negotiation – its like buying a car) from a mortgage broker right off the top.

    I am not a shark in a suit Curtis… but it sounds like you may have been one. Once you earn a decent or we can pretend… I am happy to analyze your situation here in this public forum to show you the added value I (or any good advisor) can bring to a situation. Willing to play the game… Really you only have net worth to gain… and I nothing (because you’ll never become a client) to gain, except your thanks for making you better off.

    As to why I don’t publish my name, I think that;s obvious… nothing for to gain and frankly I don’t need tons of clients. My business is built on in-depth knowledge and advice for a limited amount of clients. Unlike the banks, I believe clients need guidance, and having 10,000 clients and 4 advisors if not giving clients what they need.

  92. Curtis,, sorry the reply was so long… so buddy up for it… here’s your chance to either make a fool of me… or grow your net worth…. REALLY you have nothing to lose… either way.

    But I would ask at the end if you honestly fell (and be honest and open minded) . Don’t forget everyone will see your results here in public for them to judge whether I have added value. If you fell like I have added value to your situation, you owe the board an apology and saying perhaps I was wrong… that’s all I ask for. Got it in you??

      1. Your logic lacks the most basic display of common sense. Also, do you think I want an advisor whose name is “yah right”. Nope, you sound like a child. A Freedom 55 Financial “advisor” is just a salesman that has his targets and his products that pay him more than the others.

        Go sell your 20-pays and shitty DSC’d Quadrus funds to the uneducated public jagoff.

        How do you sleep at night?

      2. ps. Tell the public how what your commission structure is for the following:

        1) TFSA’s

        2) RRSP’s, non locked-in

        3) RRSP’s, locked-in Quadrus Fund Units

        4) Whole Life

        5) “20-pay” whole life

        I already know the answer, but how about you tell the public…and then continue on to try to explain your purely “unbiased” financial planning. ha ha

        As a Freedom 55 Financial Salesman you start off with a 3 week training program and you require no degree or diploma of any kind. During this training they teach you how to hold meetings and what to say to clients in order to get them to buy – certain products. This is how you get paid as a F55F person. There are plenty of advisors who have no clue what a mutual fund even is – but they will sell you one!

        Think about this structure for a while – is this a credible honorable company? lol.

      3. Ok… talking about common sense… I have offered to help you become a millionaire and all you do is open your stupid mouth… hey stupid do you want to be a millionaire or not?

        I don’t sell Quadrus funds moron… I don’t have to.

      4. Hey Curtis… targets and products…

        Tell everyone on this post Curtis… which company do you know that does not have products or targets?

        CAn’t wait to hear this one…. come on Curtis shows us all how smart you are???

  93. I am happy to tell the public.

    1) Usefully sold FEL zero % commission.
    2) RRSPs depends what the clients wants… see that’s is what you missed when you were an advisor… you forgot about the client… not surprised offered to make you a millionaire and all your go off about things that don’t matter. Once again… I will sell DSCs or NO load, but my advice is not free…so once again, you tell me how you prefer to pay for my advice… fee for service or DSC because once again (not surprised you were not successful – you don’t listen) my advice is not free… want free advice go to the bank… (but they will not draft a financial plan, will have no ideas of how to add any value to a client’s situation (just like you did not when you were an advisor). You want advice that will increase your overall situation it’s not free.
    3) Don’t sell Quadrus funds (as I mentioned), but again available under either load structure, and again (maybe the 5th time I say it), you don’t get my advice that will add value to your situation, for free, so you (the clients) have a choice on how you pay for the advice … a DSC or fee for service… you decide… don’t think the advice is worth it… go see Curtis at the bank…. he is an expert at nothing, and earns nothing.. so the bank can continue to make record profits.. Curtis will not even understand the cost structure, of how banks make record profits, will have no idea which funds are good ones, and of course will only sell his bank’s funds.

    4) whole life. Over 100% of the premium. Answer this bonehead… if your client dies with $1,000,000 in RRSPs how much does his kids get? (assume he has 2 kids and they are his beneficiaries)

    5) 20 pay life (almost the same as 4)…. again answer my question…

    Hey… the advice is unbiased, because I only sell the product that is the right fit for the clients situation…. unlike you did. If the client does not need permanent life insurance (or affects cash flow too much), sell them term insurance… if the need is for permanent insurance, I sell them permanent insurance… depends on the need… that’s the part you never listened to when you were an advisor… you have to understand the client’s position before you try and sell them a product. You obviously did not listen to your clients and try to sell them the wrong product, and now you are surprised you were not successful… how do you sleep at night…knowing you were a salesperson and have no integrity and could even do that well?

    How do you sleep knowing someone was willing to help you (likely make you a millionaire). Help you get your wife nice things, help your kids get a post secondary education, etc… all achievable for you, but you were too stupid to listen…. you have no idea how much money you need to retire, gave CRA $750,000 more than you needed to, continued to help the bank make record profits, never got advice that could help your family for many, many generations all because you were too stupid to listen to someone that has made many millionaires… because you were too proud to say maybe there is good people out there… and a company that has existed for 150 years…maybe knows what they are doing. Maybe, just maybe it was YOU that did not know what you were doing, and that is why you’ll never be well off.

    I don’t need to think about the structure you clown, I understand this industry… perhaps you should get your head out of your a$$ long enough to think before you speak. You still don’t understand how banks make money, and that the banks make way more money off their client than any advisor does, and they offer zero added value to anyone’s situation.

    If an advisor does not add value to a situation, why would you even want that advisor???

    Do you think the banks do not teach their advisors that hey should try and ask for all the clients investments? Except they do not think their advisors need to take continuing education, most people at the bank don’t even have a CFP (which is minimum standard in my mind) to work with the general public… Why do you think the banks don’t make that mandatory for their employees?

    Again if the advisors adds no value, why would you del with them… can you please answer that question?? Try and actually answer a question… I have answered all yours…

    Just so you know… my offer is off the table to help you with your situation… you have lost out again on something to make your situation in life better off… because of your mouth… I am sure you have heard that before, but I suspect you are fine with that because Curtis knows everything!!!

    5)

  94. Here is something for you to see the added value Curtis (someone informed can offer their clients – unlike you).

    Check out this fund were recommend (ad have for 3 years truthfully) to our clients. RBC Canadian Equity Income.

    There I have added more value to all the people on the post than you have in one recommendation….

  95. Curtis… you likely (if you are lucky and smart with your money) build your net worth (in your lifetime to $250,000)… had you taken me up on my offer… I would have likely grown that to over $1M.

    Now the fact that I get paid (DSC or fee for service) perhaps $10,000 over the next 10 years with this type of client really matter? Is this client happy to have quadrupled his net worth? (and likely believes I have earned that money).

    See Curtis this is the type of advice a good financial advisor can add to a client’s situation… the people at the bank (and you) would have just had the client grow their net worth to $250,000 and you’ll wonder why you never seem to get ahead…. it’s really your fault… you had the chance, but due to your stupidity (and coming on a site just to bad mouth a company because you were an unethical advisor) you’ll never build any real net worth. Going in and looking for the quick sale (like you did, Mr. One Trick Pony) is not helping Canadians.

    All this I would have proved to you and offered to, but you wouldn’t take me up on the offer… and then you wonder why you were not successful as an advisor, why do I never seem to get ahead financially… Curtis it’s your fault!!! Now how do you sleep knowing had you taken me up on the offer, you’d be on your way to being a millionaire?

    I sleep fine and my clients (who I have paved their ways to being millionaires) sleep nicely too… (and you’ll see by that fund, one of many of the funds we use) knowing someone they can trust is helping them achieve their goals (for some of them, the goals are larger than they would have imagined… just like yours could have been)

    That one recommendation (RBC Canadian Equity Income) for our clients that have used this fund will have added more value to people that took our advice than all the advice you gave in your whole career with London Life likely. I would also say once I review a client’s cash flow, we usually are able to free up $2000-$3000 per month of cash flow… See Curtis again solid advice, that you never gave, or the bank will never give.

    Sleep well Curtis… knowing you could have been a millionaire.

    1. As for the name yah right… Curtis again stupidity on your part. If my name was Boris does that mean the advice would be better?

      Curtis the advice is the important part, not the name, but again you have missed out because of your blindness and stupidity.

      Good luck to you in life Curtis… just a last comment (than I will not respond to any of your posts because you are waste of time) Curtis when someone is trying to help you out… maybe you should listen instead of just shouting off your …

      You will benefit way more by listening to an expert than making yourself look like a fool because you think you know everything.

      1. You sound like a bumbling untrustworthy indiot. I would’nt trust you with my money for a New York second. Making bold claims of making people millionaires, you are laughable at best.

        You have shown your true colors – further embarrassing yourself and your company Freedom 95 Financial.

      2. There is a need to change. What in your opinion could London Life do to make it’s Freedom 55 Financial channel work better for both the advisor and their client? Please be completely candid. I am very interested in hearing any thoughts on this subject.

      3. SARAH, Here’s a start?

        Here is a post from ‘Former Advisor’ September 9th, 2011:

        “I was an advisor for Freedom55 or Pyramid55 Financial to more correctly name this company.

        Every customer is a possible scalp. They will try to sell you permanent insurance, because this pays the advisor and the advisors manager the most amount of money in commissions (Inflation makes those cash values worthless over time). Advisors are on ZERO salary so 100% commission – so talk about a PRESSURE SALESMAN!!!! lol, don’t be fooled by their suits and ties.

        Stay far away :-)”

  96. Still avoiding answering any questions hey Curtis… tell everyone why you won’t answer any questions?
    The reason is because you don’t know the answers… there is the idiot in you.

    The only one that sounds like a bumbling idiot is you…. and you could have been one of those millionaires… I have made many, my clients know who they are.

      1. Are you? Never mind I know the answer…

        What do you think clown.. if my advice has made many of my clients millionaires…

        Still avoiding answers moron??

        Why don’t you speak to the par fund and the investments it holds? Help us understand what investment option within the same risk (lower volatility and standard deviation that a 1 yr GIC) category would have outperformed the par fund.

        Instead of bashing a company and its products… help everyone benefit from your vast knowledge?

        Come on Curtis… help the bloggers here… add some value to their life instead of just blaming a company because you can’t pay your rent.

  97. I will take the chance to make some clarifications:
    Freedom 55 Financial (F55F) doesn’t have any product at all, unless the mother company London Life’s products will be considered as F55F’s product.

    I even called my adviser from F55F at 1.00am and talked to me for more than half an hour so politely and answered all my concern. Finally asked me to go for a good sleep. Unbelievable that he called me at around 11.00am just to ask me if I am ok, as I may not have enough sleep last night and may be I am worrying too much about anything.

    My Adviser from F55F, always call me at least once in every month just to have a chit chat. Once I asked for a insurance product, he advised that I don’t need anymore, he even didn’t care about hes commission from sales.

    So, I never can agree anything against F55G. But the truth is that is a huge big truck of fruits, some bad fruits will be there, very natural. So, we should not blame the company for that.

    For Curis, ……… try to be gentle to people.

    I retired as a CFO of one of the largest life insurance company in North America. Its really shows the cheap mentality and your own status of a uncultured, bad mannered man. I never consider these people as a social human being.

    Hope we all will be good enough to others if expect same to us from society.

    1. You can’t speak proper English and you were the CFO of the largest life insurance company in North America…

      And I have a pet dinosaur that can fly.

    2. Don’t waste your time Syed… these losers (no education, no money) spend their time on sites bashing companies and good people instead of ever trying to help anyone or taking good advice.

      Syed be comfortable knowing that you have a good successful advisor that add value to your situation and it just happens he works for F55F.

      These guys all worked for F55F, were not successful because they did not do what was in their client’s best interest, and now won’t take responsibility for their actions… instead its a company that has been around for 150 years, has the most policyholders in Canada fault.

      These are the same guys that complain about not getting ahead in life, but have not put any “real” effort and expect everything to be given to them.

      We are wasting our time trying to help them.

      1. I thought you said you worked with people who didn’t know any better and show them how to grow their money?

        Now you are calling them “losers” with no money.

        You are a joke. A truly disgusting example for Freedom 55 Financial. You are a perfect fit for Freedom 85 Financial. They would love to fill their offices with guys like you. Naive enough to buy the whole “you’re a business owner, you are special.” They rotate through guys like you over and over, wanna-be rich business owners with no clue.
        In a couple years you will be in debt and looking for a job that pays you money.

        good luck scalping clients.

      2. Salamon (really Curtis under another name as is Jason) No, I am calling you, Curtis and Jason losers.

        I am actually incorporated… so how do I incorporate and not be a business owner. I am also not the guy that came on this site saying that really advisors are not business owners and that LL makes their advisors pay for their expenses. With expenses well over $200K per year, I am happy to know the names of those businesses you talked about where I do not need to pay my expenses… that would be just extra money for my pocket…

        I am actually what most people would consider rich. No, actually they rotate guys like you over and over again (just like they did) that think they can be rich (Like me) but have no business plan, no work ethic, no desire to truly help clients.

        You are those guys that think everyone will do it for yous. Welcome to the real world.

        Quick give me those names… I am waiting and holding my breath I am so excited!!!

        In a couple of years (just to correct you) I will be in a position where the day to day stuff of the business will be taken care of by either my operations manager or a subagent and I will just see my top clients and give the long term business vision and direction. I likely will not have any debt, and a business worth millions and a bank account to match.

        Where will you be in a couple of years?

  98. Wow…I see a lot of F55 advisor trying to hide the truth by bashing reality. Syed, seriously you were CFO …and now you spend your time on blogs defending F55. LOL!

    1. Where you a client? I was almost one, but I looked into things for myself after my first meeting with their salesman.

      Suze Orman (popular CNBC Financial Planner) along with many other financial experts believe that permanent insurance is one of the worst deals out there for the customer. However, Permanent Life Insurance is at the core of Freedom 55 financial’s Corporate Income sheet, their real “money-maker”. So, naturally their commission structure is set up in a way to represent this fact.

      Their Salesmen often come with nothing more than a high school diploma or a 2 year art degree. They go through a 4 to 6 week training and then they are ready to hit the sales meeting rooms with anyone they can coax into coming to meet with them. From there they proceed to swoon the potential customer towards the permanent life insurance product, or if that fails, an equity based in-house mutual fund that is a locked-in investment (untouchable without heavy penalties for 7 years, this product is second place in the commission food-chain).

      Shockingly, about 90% of their salespeople are forced to quit within 9 months of starting with the company due to personal income shortfalls. Therefor, the company markets their sales positions aggressively throughout the job market. Often targeting jobless sites and college sites, as well as high school job posting sites, they end up with an interesting group of personalities on their salesforce. Competition is cutthroat though and sales results are posted for all to see.

      Salespeople are on 100% commission and, most surprisingly, they are forced to cover all their own expenses. Office space, secretary costs, coffee costs and office costs run on average around $500 a month – putting extreme financial pressure on the financial advisors to sell.

      This is what I found out about the company so I chose not to go with them.

      Salamon

      1. Salamon… you know Suze Orman is American right… and only came to popularity because of Oprah right? You also obviously know she grew up on the poor side of the track in Chicago (where Oprah’s show was shot, right).

        I assume as well you know she talks to the average american (not the well off) and that her advice is generic and not specific to anyone’s situation right.

        I would change her mind and have her agreed that permanent insurance (LL or any other company) can be the right product in the right situation. Certainly its not for everyone, but it does have a role within most financial plans. Salamon… can you confirm t me that one day you will actual die?

        You also know more than all of us about business clearly… I am considering a career change and want to be an entrepreneur… so you must know of places where I can be a business owner, have my own office with my own phone system, a couple of secretaries, my own photocopier, fax machine, phone lines, etc… all for less than $500/mth. Let me know which genuine business that is, and send me their website so I can sign up?

        Thanks for the insight, we are so lucky to have guys like you add value to the bloggers situation. Wow I thank my lucky stars!!

        As an independent advisor and entrepreneur London Life has made me pay for my own office space, believe it or not I even have to pay my secretaries… I know it’s criminal!!

      2. Come on Salamon still waiting for the name of those businesses?

        Wait a minute… who’s pathetic, never has and never will be successful. I sleep nicely as do my clients.

      3. Dear Mr. Soloman,

        For your comment like “As an independent advisor and entrepreneur London Life has made me pay for my own office space, believe it or not I even have to pay my secretaries… I know it’s criminal!!”

        I can easily go to court, mind your language please before you will face any legal issue.

        If I had your address, definitely I would receive the legal notice from my lawyer.

        -Syed

      4. Dear Mr. Soloman,
        I honor to your opinion. But I will appreciate if you will try to know all details before you make any comment and compare them with industry details.

        Thanks
        S Syed

    2. Jason you are so right…

      What would you do for a client that has $2,000,000 in his RRSPs and does not need the money… he will die with that asset (ignore growth or any withdrawals for easy sake).

      What would your suggestion be? I want to learn from the best!

      1. Everybody knows this ‘yah right’, the things you are speaking about are very very basic financial facts. Yet, you speak of them like they are great mystical secrets of which only you know the answers.

        I bet you just finished your 4 week Freedom 55 Financial training and now you are ready to take on the world!

        lol

  99. I’ve been following this thread for some time. In 2009 I blogged about my investment in Freedom 55. At the time, it was down more than any of my other investments. Since then, it has rebounded but not as much as my other investments. My guess is that the commission structure of the Freedom 55 fund is one of the things holding it back. If one must invest in a fund there are far better choices, especially if one is saving for something as important as retirement.

    1. Commission structure is the same as every other investment company. The performance of your fund has nothing to do with compensation, mers on segregated funds are certainly higher than mutual funds and I would say that London Life segregated funds are on the low side vs. most other companies as example Manulife GIF, etc…

      Which fund are you holding?
      That is the real reason for underperformance is the manager of the fund.

      1. This is not true. You definately just finished your 4 week Freedom 105 Financial training.

        Quadrus has some of the highest funds (same with london life seg funds) and have some of the lowest performance when compared to peers.

        Try again.

      2. Again, bold statements with no proof…
        Which peers… explain

        What right, you clowns I have 6 designations and have been in the industry for over 15 years, I am actually an expert in this industry with extremely impressive pedigree… unlike you clowns

      3. It is 100% true. Most fund companies (there is some exceptions) pay a 1% trail on equity funds and 1/2% on fixed income funds to the dealer. That is certainly the case 100% with QGOF and FF.

        In fact some of the funds I sell from other companies actually pay more than do the QGOF.

        The increased mers do not make their way to the investment advisors…

        Wow I am so surprised Curtis was wrong again!!! Curtis did you actually pass the 4 week course?The more you write the more you seem to be an embarassment (and mistake) that you actually ever got hired!

    2. Yes, I have stated we have been recommending RBC Canadian Equoity Income for the last three years to our clients.. there has been no better choice… this has been the #1 cnd equity fund over the last three years, averaging over 30% per year. Now I am not guaranteeing the future returns of this fund. When we first recommended it it had about $250M under management, it is now over $1B.

      As you can see this is not a Freedom Fund, not a segregated fund and this fund is not for everyone and certainly not the only fund we recommend even on the equity side, but an advisor whether it be from F55F or other can add value to a client’s situation, and I am an advisor who’s corporation has a contract with F55F and those coming on saying that F55F is a bunch of crooks (who ironically are all past unsuccessful agents) is really not adding any value to the bloggers…

      I have even offered to allow them to make a fool of me, or allow them to become millionaires and they still would not take me up on my offer…. you can clearly see the immaturity and stupidity of not taken me up on the offer…. really they had nothing to lose.

      They complain about permanent inusrance without any true knowledge of how the par fund works, why it is set up that way, how it has performed to a comparable benchmark, how a rise in interest rates would affect the fund, etc…
      If they came with some insight or an viable alternative, actually answered questions, instead of just adding stupid, unfounded remarks they may actually gain some credibility, but both you and I know they won’t, because they don’t know how it works. These morons are not comparing it to a comparable benchmark, when they were advisors they abused their clients, and then put the whole blame on the insurance company instead of taking their responsibilities.

      67% of London Life segregated funds and 63% of Quadrus Group of Funds were ranked first or second quartile in 2011, not a bad stat… this was confirmed by winning an Lipper Award for one of their funds as well.

    3. I can also say Rockinon that if my funds had performed as badly as yours apparently has, I would move to another fund (at least), likely another institutions and as a rep for Freedom 55, I am not happy with how your experience has gone… its the fault of your agent (assuming he has never followed up and reviewed things) for chasing the latest trend, but I can tell you that happens not only within F55F.

      1. You sound like a brand new salesman. Many things to learn, you have.

        He is speaking about the underperformance of Quadrus funds and the high fees Freedom 95 Financial salesmen take from the clients. The client does not DIRECTLY see this, but it trickles down to them via poor fund performance.

        Either, you are very new and not aware of how things work yet, or you are blatantly lying about these things to keep potential victims coming into your office.

      2. Funny my stuff is the actually factual… when do you think Curtis you will actually give any facts?

        Which fund… which peer fund?

        As I stated above 67% of FF are 1 or 2 quartile, 63% of QGOF are 1 or 2 quartile. The numbers don’t lie… they are the facts… you on the other hand never give any facts… wonder why?

        I know as I stated you never will because you don’t know any… just came on the site to whine about not being successful… need a soother??

        And I have stated over and over again that I actually do not sell QGOF, I sell almost exclusively third party funds.

        Actually Curtis you sound like a brand new bad salesmen… I am willing to beat my next paycheque…. never mind you don’t have one, that you are under 30, lasted with LL no more than 18 months… tried unsuccessfully to sell permanent insurance where it was not in the client’s best interest, tried to sell funds that were under-performers (QGOF) and then wondered why you could not sell anything. Instead of using your mouth, maybe you would have served yourself and your clients better if you had actually used your head.

        Then you decided (although you were responsible for everything you did when contracted to LL) that it’s the company fault because it could not be yours…
        You likely never took a course towards any designations, never tried to improve your knowledge (that’s obvious based on your comments here) to better serve your clients, and just expected to be successful…

        Hate to break it to you…. you will never be successful without hard work, some knowledge, a business plan… Why don’t you share what your business plan was Curtis… let me guess you never had one, you slept in, went out late to the bars, and then spent your time on websites like this instead of delivering on a business plan.

        Funny I started with the same company over 15 yrs ago, and sell first quartile funds (I think you can see that by the RBC fund) and even gave you the name of one of the funds we recommend…. to prove to you… gave facts about the fund, know who the manager(s) are, know their history, know their investment philosophy, know how active they are as managers, know what their mandates are, have interviewed them repeatedly, have them under constant analysis

        Why did you recommend the funds you did
        what is the asset composition of the par fund
        How do rises in interest ates affect the par fund

        All the question you constantly avoid… because you can’t answer them.

        We as salesperson’s never take any fees from any client… you likely were again doing stuff that was illegal and not in your client’s interest. Again, the funds we recommend (if you actually look at the fund I have stated repeatedly) have very low Mers (relatively) and actually pays me more than any QGOF… at 1.15% trail.

        I am not new… I think the board realizes that by my knowledgeable answers… on the other hand my guess about you is likely bang on… I knew you were a F55F advisor (or a past one) even though you came on this site and pretended to be a client, and I am very aware how things work… I am a member of some of the very elite advisor groups in Canada, and anyone that comes into my office (and my clients know it) will only get the best recommendations an expert like me recommends for their situation.

        I think the fact that my core clients have been with me for well over 10 years speaks for itself… and all of them have provided referrals for me.

        They all also know my business plan, in fact some are members of my board of directors.

        How many of your clients were your buddies getting drunk with you at the bar instead and bounced their 20 pay premiums because they needed to buy their next case of beer?

  100. Nathan perhaps you would be so kind to clarify what a “dividend” is in the insurance industry. NOT the same thing as a stock dividend. Unless you were not aware… dividend from a “participating policy” is overpaid premiums that are paid back to the consumer. Good to know that for 150 years F55 had been returning peoples hard earned money to them, interest free 🙂

    1. Yes its Overpaid premiums as a technical standpoint and it grows over time. Currently hovering around 7.61% return.

      I have clients who pay $681 into their policy yearly and get $622 back into the policy in dividends. In this case the person is using the dividends to buy paid up additions which is more insurance so the policy death benefit grows. So even if we just look at dollar for dollar they’re paying 681 and getting 622 = $59 so they’re paying 59 per year for an insurance policy. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

      Especially since when they buy their paid up additions its about 3-1 ratio of insurance to dollar so every dollar buys them 3 dollars of insurance extra. So if their death benefit was 15k base and they got 50$ dividends that year they’d now have 15,150$ death benefit.

      Insurance is only a scam if you don’t know how it works and I’m sad to say your advisor did a pretty piss poor job of explaining it to you. If you would like more info I will happily explain it to you in more detail. jonathan.bullock@londonlife.com

    2. Erik… little uninformed… Dividends are not overpaid premiums.

      Do yourself some favours and get informed about the industry you are in. I know Primerica does not believe in permanent insurance but that does not mean its bad.

      Go study a little… or you won’t last in this industry. Make your own decisions… don’t think Primerica (or any insurance company) is in it to help you. They exist to make profit… like every business. If you help them make profits, they’ll be happy… but you need to take responsibility for yourself…. be comfortable with what you are selling, not because you don’t understand the other companies products, but because you have studied them in-depth and know where they can be appropriate. If your target market is not good candidates (although everyone dies) for the product, say it is not for your target audience.

      Make up your own mind about permanent insurance vs. term… but try and understand both sides. What do you do to protect estates, what is your view on a back to back that returns in excess of 10% for your GIC client (pretty much guaranteed… will depend on when they die). Why pay $ for $ for final expenses when you can pay 25% of the cost? What other fixed income investment has outperformed LL’s par fund in the last 10 years with same volatility? How do par funds smooth returns, why? What has happened to UL in the last 3 years (industry wide), what will happen to premium rates for UL, term is interest rates stay as low for a long period of time? Why? What will happen to par insurance? Why?
      Why is the government (this years budget) reducing the amount of money that that can stay tax sheltered in a permanent life insurance policy? Why does the gvt say they are doing it because rates as so low…. if rates are so low, why bother?

      I could give you a million more questions…. to think about. I think you get the idea… I am not saying Primerica is good or bad…. but the advisor makes the difference…. just be informed, you owe that to your clients.

    3. Erik, why are you not part of an association that has a code of ethics and that believes in protecting the consumer’s interest?

      Why does Primerica not promote an association that believes in protecting consumer’s interest? Why does Primerica allow advisors to work part-time? How does that help the consumer?

  101. I still dont understand how F55 and others survive when the products they provide are inferior in quality and pricing. I also am puzzled why so many uneducated, ‘down on luck’, mostly new immigrants get sucked into working for this company? (oops I just answered my quesion 🙂

    @Ya Right…you seemed very frustrated in life. Maybe you need to go out and get a real job rather than scamming people of their hard earned money and fooling desperate people by offering them “business” to run…

    1. They have the highest turnover rate in the industry – in any industry! More so than used car dealers.

      New advisors come and go faster than Kane on a breakaway.

      many of them with only a high school diploma, some don’t even have that!

      Freedom55 is a dog, a worthless company full of sales hacks.

      Stay FAR away folks.

  102. Sam you are right… I will stop scamming people and helping them become millionaires.

    You’re a clown!!

    Frustrated in life… not so much I’m the rich guy… juts makes me laugh when I see losers come on a site (like you) come on a site and bash products without any other alternatives because they are so uneducated (just like you).

    Hey Mr. smart guy… which has been a better equity fund than the RBC Cnd Equity income? Come on shows us your brilliance and add value to the discussion. Maybe I should get a job like yours that pays me $50,000/yr. Your right why would I want to earn over $400K when I can earn $50K. You are so smart!!

    Which participating fund has been better than London Lifes… come on again add value with an explanation…come on brains.

  103. @Yah Right: I am sure with your rude attitude, you are scrapping the barrel with your clients 😉

    And when did RBC Canadian Equity become a F55 mutual fund? Lol!

  104. Don’t have a rude attitude with people worth spending time with… and you can see by my repeated FACTS that I do what is in my client’s best interest and my persistency speaks for itself.

    Sam still no comparable products hey…
    Any F55F advisor can sell almost any mutual fund he wants… so it may not be home grown it is product available through F55F.

    I guess Sam on your comment you obvious agree that F55F does have some great agents and of course some bad ones… but to label them all bad is not accurate, and the whole point of this discussion.

    Funny you guys added to the brand when you worked at F55F apparently negatively (essentially fuelled the fire) and then come on the site and blame the company… sad really!!

    I will be done with this site as to get you guys to actually backup any of your statements is never going to happen. You guys can keep come on sites and just say whatever you want without ever having to prove what you say… apparently you guys don’t believe in actually proving or backing up your statements… and wonder why you were not successful advisors…

    The type of guys that say stuff without any proof are exactly the guys that try and scalp their clients… those that use the FACTS can’t snow their clients, because the FACTS are not disputable.

    I think anyone intelligent that comes across this site will realize your guys are a waste of time, and just a bunch of sour grape whiners.

    I’d wish you good luck, but I think that is again a waste of time… so good just goodbye!!

  105. @yah right

    Fact 1: You sell products which have the highest MER in the industry
    Fact 2: The quality of people working is pretty shady
    Fact 3: Flipping, switching , baiting are commonly used tactics to increase commission
    Fact 4: Asking agents to pay close to 500 for a ‘shared table’ (yes, you do not pay for an office but a shared table space), outdated laptop and age old software which have not been updated in aged is quite shameful

    1. Sam you have much to learn young Jedi!!

      1) TD and RBC have the amongst the lowest Mers in the industry and the funds I sell (at least fixed income). My mers for a balanced account are 2% (all in). That is way lower than the average. The average MERS on a balanced fund in Canada are about 2.5%. You do not know what you talk about. I also know you could sell any fund you want. Sam just because you sold QGOF does not mean the good advisors do, it means you do/did.
      I will still entertain your none FACTS facts… where does QGOF rank in the industry in Canada for MERS? I know you don’t know the answer, but say they have the highest MERS in the industry… if you are going to state FACTS… might want to actually know what they are. Just a thought!

      2) Joe Pal, Bruce Etherington, Michael Vukets, David Forrest (I could add hundreds to the list) myself…. shady… you know not what you speak of.. you used to work here and you were shady… but you don’t work here anymore, or at least not for long… that makes us less shady.
      Again you speak with no proof, and certainly not all the cases and have you heard of Earl Jones, David Karas, Jennifer Killins, Sam from this blog… I could add lots more… none of them F55F advisors. Not going to say we are perfect, but there is lots of other companies that have bad apples.

      3) Not by me… perhaps you used to… I can also say that happens everywhere not just F55F… I assume you are still in the industry and not working for LL now, so it happens at the firm you work for now too. Check the MFDA site for people being caught doing things they should not. All the major arrests in Canada, none have been of F55F advisors to my knowledge. I would beat Freedom 55 Financial people are a very small %. I can also say, I know a very successful advisor that Freedom 55 canned for doing stuff that was boarder line and he just moved his licence to another provider… in this case London Life walked away from over $200K of FYC per annum… the other companies were tripping over themselves to contract him. I do not think he was out of business for more than a week.

      4: $500 in the grand scheme of things is extremely inexpensive to run a business. If you were serious in any business including this one, the recommended % of revenue that should be allocated to overhead (all overhead) is about 42% (on revenues under $1M) and 35% on revenues over $1M (source: Practice Made Perfect – Moss Adams). So if $500 is more than 42% of your revenues… you should quit and do something else. My expenses (and I pay nothing for any table) are over $15,000 per month… I wish they were only $500. Ask a realtor how much desk fees are for them?
      You are an independent contractor…I use exclusively a desktop and buy and install the software I want… why don’t you? I can also say, the laptop will disappear in the coming years… really you only need it to run in-force ledgers… most other companies (I assume you know this) you need to order in force ledgers and wait up to 10 business days to get them… convenience does come at a price.

      Any other “FACTS” you need some more knowledge on??

      1. 4: Just add to the realtor.. ask him how much he/she spends on marketing… ask them how much they would like to have trailers on their sales or renewal commissions.

        I think you get the point…

    1. You have posted a link to a 2003 article…hmmm…not surprised given you guys are used to working with outdated information 🙂

      …the world has moved on from the once glorified FA. Consumers are smarter, more informed and there are zillion discount brokerages who can do a better job at a lower price. Financial Advisory is a sinking ship …This is the plain truth.

      You talk about realtors…really? Realtors have a different business model and it is like comparing apples to oranges

      How do you feel about forcing a new recruit to cough up $500 a month on things they do not need, when they have had no sale….? On top of that these recruits are made to feel that the org. is doing them a favour…no wonder over 95% leave within 6 month.

  106. You state that much has changed from 2003… okay what has? Mers certainly have not gone down… in my estimation (informed) they have actually gone up.. products like GMWBs certainly have increased the average Mers. Recently Quadrus announced a round of cut to their MERS… a couple of funds were affected.

    As for the Real Estate it’s sales … sales is sales!!
    It’s in another industry, but it’s a sales job.

    I have no problem… the new recruits are business people… to my understanding they also get about $9000 and additional bonuses (I think up to like $50,000 if they max them out) to help them early in their careers. Certainly way more bonuses than when I started.

    You understand that you are in business right? If you bought a subway… do you think your landlord would give you a break on rent or Subway would say look we know you are new, so for their first 5 yrs. we will not charge you for supplies. Its just not the way business works.

    You know the answer is no… London Life invest the $9000 (or whatever it is), the extra bonuses, pays for your hotel room while you study for your licence, has people help you past your licence… those are some significant expenses.

    At what point would you draw the line? How much would you invest into a new recruit before you turned the tap off?

    If the recruit invested as much as London Life does in their first years into their career came with a formal business plan (perhaps LL could help with this.. I have no idea if they do or not).

    At the end of the day you have to take responsibility for your business. I also know they have managers that are suppose to support you (like a coach) throughout your first year and your career. I know the office in the city I practice does almost daily education sessions for the new recruits, some managers even do joint field work. I think it would be nice and smart if they had a successful advisor speak to them at least weekly (most guys like me are happy to help them out… perhaps they should pay us to help).

    In my experience hearing how other advisors have had success is the best learning tool. You know very few other organizations do this right.

    1. You’re a joke. A perfect example of why turnover is so high in Freedom 85 Financial. Lot’s of arrogant young bucks that charge into the company thinking they are going to y multi-millionaires in a couple years. Clueless and arrogant they find after 6 months or a year or two that they aren’t making money and they are losing $500 per month ontop of that paying to shares the “team table” sales table.

      Yah Right, judging by your mindless posts you are a newbie who is surely soon to be looking for a real job.

      You, and your company, are pathetic.

      1. ps. I know all the sales people at freedom 85 read this site – but only ONE will stand up for their shitty company. A child-like man boy named ‘yah right’

        They know that it is nothing more than a sales pyramid with most of the money flowing to the top.

        With the current state of the world economy, I suspect it is getting harder and harder these days to lure unsuspecting victims into your office to sell permanent insurance which is shitting the bed right now cause interest rates are so low. a terrible investment permanent insurance – same with locked in quadrus mutual funds.

      2. Yah Right’s mom here…his real name is Marc (see much earlier posts), please ignore his posts he has nothing better to do in life than shoot crap out of his backside. He has failed at everything in life and now F55F, Primerica and Amway are the only companies that he is any worth to. Would you believe that his dream is to be the next Bernie Madoff.! If I had known he would have turned out like this, I would have strangled him at birth. Once again I apologise for his actions.
        Now, a question for the moron who claims to the an ex CFO of the biggest insurance company in the US, could you please enlighten us as to what happened to the largest insurance company in the US/world about 3 years ago.

      3. Curtis anyone that thinks they will be a millionaire a couple of years into building a business is clearly not the right guy to be in this industry or in business. It takes time to learn the stuff you need to, takes time to build the right staff, processes, etc…

        The guys coming in to this industry (whether F55F or other) expecting to be millionaires overnight are exactly the guys the consumers should stay clear of. They are in it for themselves and not their clients. Can you agree this can happen not just with F55F? Which is really the whole point of this post!

        Unless you are extremely lucky, or have a great idea (tough in our old industry to have that NEW great idea) it takes time to build a proper business.

        I agree 100% with you that the guy wanted to be an instant success is a scary proposition to their clients, and one I would be wary of.

  107. Yah right’s Mom

    Look A$$hole… really think you should brings mothers into stuff… that mighty big of you. Nice to be tough on a site like this… Wow that’s is impressive.

    Not Marc… that being said… What have your succeeded at in life except being the biggest A$$hole on this post?

    Buddy… I have turned down senior management at many banks, they would pay me less than you make. I know you’d take it. As for you to be successful you need someone to tell you how to do everything.

    Successful… I guess it determines your definition? If it means having a great wife, great kids, being a millionaires, living life to its fullest… I guess I have been successful. If it means something else… you’re right A$$hole, maybe I have not been.

    I would say so far the only thing not successful is trying to help you understand that Freedom 55 Financial is certainly not perfect, but to say all representatives are bad… really is idiotic. But based on your idiotic comments, it’s clear I will lost that battle… really no point in trying. I bet I am not the first guy that gave up on you!!!

    I consider myself relatively successful at just about everything including with London Life. The posts are clear. Jealousy is not only a deadly sin, but apparently it also makes you an A$$hole to bring family members into a discussion that needed not be.

    If you have all the answer moron… why did you not fix the financial meltdown before it happen?

    Let me guess.. out with buddies at the bar hey… getting drunk whining about not making money, then go on sight and add no value to them, just make yourself look like a fool.

    Instead of Bernie Madoff… if Freedom 55 is so bad, why don’t you use an example of one of their salespersons? Come on smart guy…impress us with your vast knowledge..

    Curtis to your question (my so unknowledgeable young one)… it is actually easier to sell permanent insurance nowadays than perhaps ever before. Curtis if you actually understood the industry you would know exactly why!

    What is the alternative to permanent cash value insurance… (but again I should remind you I still sell 70% of my sales in term insurance) if the need is permanent?

    Universal Life… what happens to Universal Life in a low interest rate environment? What does a company that needs to show shareholder value do to their Universal Life products that impact their share price?

    Curtis… I have asked you many times (still have not answered any questions – why don’t you just answer one… I know you don’t know the answers) what is the par fund (use London Lifes) invested in?
    How have it performs vs. other similar investments?

    Still no answers… spend some time young one… try to find the answers. had you done this work and looked for the answers when you worked for F55F you may actually have been successful.

    As for the Quadrus funds… you really don’t listen do you? I don’t really sell them for (at least) the fifth time. Again my retention of clients tells the story on how successful I have been. that being said… 60% of Quadrus funds were 1 or 2nd quartile in 2011… not a bad actual stats.

  108. I am really done with this site… this is really just a bunch of ex London life salespersons that were unsuccessful, apparently (instead of trying to do what is right) continued to poorly impact the brand, and now feel a burning desire to go on sites and whine and cry and blame the company.

    I think any “real” worthwhile client for London Life will realize just that.

    Unfortunately I came across this site and have wasted some energy on a bunch of losers… have always been, will always be.

    I am convinced the smart consumer will make their own choices, just glad to see these uninformed morons are now out of our company… that should give consumers the confidence to know that eventually the morons get filtered out.

    You really should do your homework when choosing a financial advisor. As you can see from the guys on this post, don’t look for someone new in the business, they are uninformed and do not have the ability to give good advice.

    Look for someone that has invested some time into this industry, has some credentials, ask for referrals, and ask them tough questions about their business model, experience, what is their service standard, what are the deliverables, what makes them different, what is their unique value proposition, etc…

    1. Why deal with anyone in an organization that nurtures new representatives so poorly that “they are uninformed and do not have the ability to give good advice”?

      1. Freedom 55 Financial, primerica, and transunion are all terrible companies that make their profits by fleecing the middle class.

        Don’t fear the truth.

  109. All these guys that come on the site whining about having to invest in their business wanted (I am not sure how much) London life to invest more in them (Although it seems they won’t invest in themselves).
    You know you are in business right… Mommy is not there to help you out (well most of you). You are in the big leagues now!!

    Hey you know what we should ask…. is that the NHL give rookies a different colour helmet… so guys will know they are rookies and they are not allowed to hit them, give them more time and space.

    You know you have to baby professionals… whether they be hockey players or guys trying for the big leagues with LL.

    Maybe I’ll start a website where guys that never really made it to the NHL can come and blame the NHL, their coaches from Novice, Initiation, their parents, Santa (for not bringing them the net they asked for)… because the guys that get to the NHL are really all a bunch of crooks.

    I bet Curtis, Yah right’s Mom, Sam, and others will be the first guys to blame everyone else. As the saying goes…. Excuses are like a$$holes, everyone’s got them! These guys just have them in spades!!

      1. Don’t you find it shocking Salamon (who claims he was only going to be a client) seems to know the internal workings of this company….

        Obviously he worked for F55F, was not successful (how can anyone be surprised, he is a liar) and now its London Life’s fault… like thye are the ones that taught him to lie.

        Anyone else shocked he was not successful??

      2. Actually Skinny Jim… I’m a millionaire… you the pathetic loser! I don’t make excuses and blame everyone else for not being successful… I have gone and made it happen.

        You can visit the McDonald’s I own where Curtis and his loser friends sweeps my floors to save some money to go drinking at the bars on the weekends!!

      3. Please provide the location address as I plan a) to visit and b) to check that you really are the franchise owner as you claim!

  110. My son has lost it. He is obsessed with this site and write’s every 15 minutes on it. Let me go lock the basement door so that he does not get to the computer this time.

    Guys please find him a real job.

  111. I have been a financial advisor at Freedom 55 Financial and Quadrus Investments Inc. for over half a decade. I sold my portfolio of more than 700 clients and X $Millions assets bringing in over $100K/year in royalties to a trusted colleague only because I had an offer as a CFA elsewhere that I could not refuse. Several of my former clients still keep calling me, once in a while, to tell me how my replacement is doing servicing them. I don’t know how training of new recruits is now, but the old London Life Freedom 55 used to invest immensely in selection, training development, and mentoring new advisors. I had the opportunity to work with and learn from the top people in the industry. As the guy said the apple does not fall far from the tree. Previously to becoming a financial advisor and mutual fund broker I had 2 university degrees and kept investing in my career, now as CFA with my own suite of wealth management consulting pursuing Leadership Excellence in my industry, If I had to go back I would.

    1. Yah Right Jacques!!! If what you say is true then: 1) – why didn’t you state the actually amount of assets? 2) – Since when did the finance industry pay royalties?? What did you invent that you earned $100K in Royalties? The finance industry pays commissions and trailers – I doubt you are successful if you didn’t know even this simple fact. 3) – It is a proven fact that the most commonly used income value by lairs is $100K per year (source: University of London) .
      Do us all a favour and taking your stinking lies elsewhere MORON!!!!!!!

      1. Jacques, you need to help the site like Mr. Peter Parker does… I love the added value he brings to the table… don’t you?

        Jacques take comfort in knowing you did well in the industry and continue to… ignore the guys that wish they could be you…

        A loser that could not sell anything, come on a site and instead of helping the consumer with why London Life is bad or good… why permanent insurance is good or bad… add no value to the discussion. My guess is this is likely exactly what he did for his clients… add no value.

        So Mr Peter Parker why don’t you impress us with your knowledge. Help explain why yesterday I met with a client that has a 20 pay life (sold before I was in the industry) and his IRR is 5.4% (on his CSV). I would say that is very attractive in today’s environment.

        Can you name an investment that would guarantee him anywhere near that number? What would your advice to this client be… kill the policy (take a $40K gain and then invest $80K outside your RRSPs and get 2% GIC? That is good advice Spiderman… my spider sense is tingling…Peter Parker is a moron.

        The growth rate on his death benefit was only 2.5% (which I was a little surprised).

        I would say that CSV growth is a nice number… I am sure even you would admit it is.

        I will give you roughly my AUMS… about $60M and I bring in about $8M on new money yearly and write about $250K of FYC in life/living benefits. My renewal stream is closing in on 350K. My block is about 60% FEL and about 60% Equity. That should be enough for you to confirm my renewals. This month along I have brought in roughly $1.5M and have done about 10 life cases for about $30K of FYC. So I think when I say I can add value to this site… I speak from a strong position. You on the other hand are likely an advisor that failed at this industry… forgot to see people, forgot to treat them like you wish to be treated…and then blamed London life for your errors…

  112. By the way, I don’t know many companies these days that offer 20 Pay Life. All my kids have one. Once they become 20 years old, their insurability is protected for the rest of their lives and they would not have to pay a cent from their pockets, and can tap in the money to buy a first house, pay their university or else in case of an emergency.

    Tell me more…

    1. Here is Suze Orman’s opinion on Whole life insurance (20-pay)…

      And here is Dave Ramsey’s opinion of the 20-pay (permanent/whole life Insurance) (permanent means whole life, same same.)

      Funny coincidence that you would pump the 20-pay’s tires. A lifetime of pushing high-fee/low performing/high commission making Quadrus mutual funds has clouded your brain my friend.
      DSC’d leverage loans and 20-pay life insurance pays the most money so these are the two products that the carsalesmen at freedom 95 financial. You have got to be kidding, freedom 55 financial has a terrible reputation among the respected investment community. A bunch of hacks with 6 weeks of sales training let loose on the public to see how much they can see, it’s the wild west!! a free for all!

      You have made yourself alot of money Jacques, but you are not financially intelligent. You are simply a good salesperson. A money shuffler, skimming indirectly from the funds of your clients like a leech.

      Those 20-pays will have their value eroded in 10 years 20 years anyways so they are essentially worthless in the future – with current world inflation rates.

      You will have the pleasure of finding out first hand over the next 5-15 years why your 20-pay product is not the be-all end-all. It is actually a terrible investment, it consists of 86% bonds and savvy investors know that the bond markets day of reckoning is approaching with speed.

      Have a good day bud. Good luck selling and managing stocks and funds as an IA with that CFA, better hit the phone! ha ha.

      1. to add… the commissions on the QGOF mutual funds are no different than any other broker selling any other fund. In fact many funds I sell, pay more than QGOF does. To say that Quadrus would actually pay advisors more than someone else is not understanding Great West Lifeco at all.

        There is 0% chance they would ever pay more than any other company. They pay a competitive compensation, but by no means will Great West Lifeco EVER be confused with a company that pays more compensation than what is required.

  113. Just to correct the uninformed… The Par fund (london Life’s) is NOT made up of 86% bonds. It has about 10% policy loans (at 8% .. not a bad guaranteed return) and another 4% private lending (it help fund part of the 407 that bypasses TO), and they have also added commercial real estate into the fund. To get actual facts check out the real information

    http://www.londonlife.com/web5/groups/iiiplifeinsurance/@public/documents/web_content/s5_008228.pdf

    I would also correct Rob B… Mrs Suze Orman has never spoken against 20 pay life, she speaks against whole life insurance in the US. I cannot speak to the US whole life (no more than Suze can speak to the Cnd one) as each country has their own regulation and the product can be vary different… so again if you are going to quote someone perhaps you should understand what they are talking about. The same goes for Dave Ramsey. I can tell you when Ted Rogers (who is Cnd) died that was the largest payout of permanent insurance in Canadian History. Why would I guy so wealthy have so much insurance. If you know how Ted got his start, he was able to borrow from his deceased Dad’s trust only by having life insurance on himself to protect the trust… so in fact he likely would not have become one of Canada’s wealthiest people without the use of whole life insurance. I could state many, many more Cnd cases.

    As far as the future for Whole Life… I believe it is as bright and even more bright than it has been. If you compare the returns to GICs (which many, many cnds hide from the volatile markets in) it has easily outpaced GICs over the long term, and the death benefit is a huge extra, The ability to do back 2 back and guarantee the right client in excess of 7% return for a GIC person is still very attractive.

    The problem I see with guys like you Rob B (who obviously worked for LL and was not successful) is that after your 6 weeks course in London, you did not put anymore effort into actually getting yourself informed about how things work, alternatives, why are the TOP DOGS selling so much permanent insurance what I am missing… you on the other hand try to sell this in the wrong situation (lack of integrity and personal pride in your career). Instead of taking five years to get yourself up to speed (education) you thought they gave me a licence to go wild on the Canadian public… and then you blame London life for your mistakes. I agree they should not hire hacks like you that don’t have the drive or integrity to do what’s right for the client, but unfortunately it is a sales job.

    If your thesis is that inflation will become very string any time soon.. that would also explain why you sold the wrong investments… in which world to do live in?? Inflation in North America will not be strong for many years… governments has built up huge debts and if inflation become a factor interest rates would rise (which of course would be great for the par fund) governments would need be financing those debts at higher rates and thus using more of their tax revenues to finance that debt…. essentially they would be cut of their nose to spite their face.

    So my suggestion to you is watch and see what happens over the next 5 years… if inflation gets to over 7% (core inflation… I am sure you know what that is) than come in call me a liar and I will accept that I was wrong. My guess is I will be close to 100% right and the par fund vs GICs will fair well… I am not saying it will return 10%, but then again neither will GICs… it will perform (as its long term trend has been) 3-4% better than GICs (which for the same level of risk… I think just about anyone (including you) would be happy with… 4% better than an investment with same level of risk is a great investment no matter whether you live in Canada or the US)

    1. Suze Orman (I don’t really know Dave Ramsey, but assuming he sings from the same Hymn book as Suze), they talk to the average US citizen and I agree with them for the majority. Look if you earn $50,000 or $100K/yr and you are dumping $500/mth to a 20 pay… and you are not maxing your RRSPs, TFSA, don’t have a need for permanent insurance… your advisor is a shark and no different than those realtors that sell you the house outside your financial comfort zone. I suspect this is what the unsuccessful people try to do… sell the wrong thing to the wrong person. Then when it blows up on them… of course it’s not their fault.

      This is what Suze Orman has big issues with, as would anyone with half a brain. You should 100% pay down debts and pay yourself first (to RRSPs, TFSAs, etc..) before you entertain any significant life premium.

      If you are a business man, have a holding company to which you move millions to each year and want a conservative investment within your portfolio, 20 pay life can be extremely attractive piece of your portfolio. It has its place… when sold right (of course this would pass by the business man’s CA before the application is made) it can be a nice piece of an overall financial situation. Sold in the wrong place, it’s the wrong product… just like anything else. That is why Cnds need trusted advice, because there is a myriad of choices out there…

      The guys that had training didn’t even understand in which situation a 20 pay can make sense, how could they advise their clients.

      1. Hey Yah Right on March 8th you wrote, “I am really done with this site…” so what the f??k are you still doing here? Got nothing better to do you loser? How much longer are you going to live in you parents’ basement and write nonsense every few minutes? Get a life man, or get professional help!

  114. Actually trying to help people Peter Parker, what did I write that is not 100% true?… so why don’t you swing from your webs and help people… the Peter Parker I know would be ashamed of you.

    You’ve heard the impression those in glass houses… you have nothing better to do than come on a site and blast people.. perhaps smart guy the site and consumers would be better off if you actually added some value.

    Buddy, my basement is bigger than both your and your mother’s house combined.

    Those looking for professional help should actually come and see me as my advice is actually professional and factual (unlike all the guys that quote or say things without any proof, rhyme or reason)… you on the other hand have added no value at all to this site… let me guess another failed financial advisor??…

    I know it’s not your fault, your parents abused you, your manager asked you to work (instead of playing video games), the $500/mth they wanted from you for expenses (for your business) was eating your rent and beer money, you finished the 6 week course and knew everything there was to know, you actually never came out of your basement because the video games are just to gripping and now that you are not selling anything to anyone (thank God for that), it’s London Life’s fault. They forgot to tell you that you have to see people, that playing video games all the time will not sell anything to anyone! Now I know why you are so upset… you’re the loser!

    Why don’t you help people Peter Parker, like your name suggests?

    1. Hey Yah Right, thank you very much for clearly describing YOUR life story and living conditions, it was very revealing, not that it would have been too hard to guess anyway……Keep dreaming loser!

      1. “I am really done with this site…” – what did I write that is not 100% true?… LOL keep trying you’ll figure it out someday.
        Anyway, swap the word “write” with “say” and I guess thats your typical response to clients when they have just realized that they have just been screwed!

  115. You can search anything on the internet and find a website that says your subject is a scam. To call F55 a “scam” is ignorant. London Life has been around for so many decades and it has stood the test of time. So, who would I believe, a proven institution like F55/LondonLife or some random guy on the internet?

    For those of you who really want to learn about this company, read Stephen Pustai’s book “Dreams Can Come True.”

    1. I also know Stephen Pustai and have read his book. I fact I had him sign a copy for all my associates. He is certainly an inspiration.

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