There are two sides to Primerica.
On the one hand, it sells life insurance to the general public. This accounts for a tiny fraction of its revenue.
On the other hand, it is a pyramid scheme that sells fake jobs to people who want to have white-collar jobs but don’t have what it takes to have an actual white collar job.
Is Primerica insurance any good? I don’t know, but I rather doubt it, since that side of Primerica’s business is purely for show.
What I do know is that the other side of Primerica’s business model—the 90%-side—is a complete and total farce. I know this because I briefly ‘worked’ there.
Here is how it works.
There are two types of Primerica employees.
There are the ones who hired out of business school and are paid salaries. These employees are the usual business-school types, and they earn the usual business-school amounts.
Then there are the ‘field agents’ who pay to peddle Primerica insurance.
And they pay handsomely—between $50-$200 per month.
How much do the field agents make?
How much do they lose?
That varies, granting that it is always a positive amount.
Occasionally one of them will come close to breaking even. But your average Primerica field agent is running a deficit of around $100/month.
Most have Primerica field agents never even make a single sale. And the few who do make any sales always make those sales to people they are recruiting into Primerica.
And they recruit them with what they know to be complete and total lies about what a ‘great financial opportunity’ Primerica is.
The people doing the recruiting are losing money, and they know that they people they are recruiting will lose money. But the recruiters believe that, if they keep up this scam long enough, they will eventually be on the inside of it.
They are wrong.
If you ‘work’ for Primerica as a field agent, then you are a customer. As soon as you give them your money, they are done with you.
In any given Primerica outlet, there is a hierarchy. There is a ‘top’ person, who is surrounded by three or four other ‘veteran agents.’
The ‘top person’ has to pay the rent on the building being used. He also has to pay utilities. He also has to pay every single other expense.
The narrative is that, as the top person, he is making at least some money, since everyone underneath him is kicking up to him.
The reality is—he is losing more money than everyone else there.
Yes—everyone is kicking up to him. But each of those people is making so little, and what little they are making is spread so thin, that the top person’s monthly ‘kick’ is a couple hundred bucks—every penny of which, and then some, he has to spend on rent, utilities, advertising, and every other conceivable expense relating to his so-called ‘business.’
To keep from quitting, Primerica strings him along with loans and vague promises, which keeps him in a perpetual hamster wheel of debt and dependency.
Plus, anyone who ‘works’ at Primerica for any length of time is damaged goods and doesn’t have anything to offer a legitimate employer—and wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to start or run a business of their own.
The longer you ‘work’ for Primerica, the more you lose.
It is not about probabilities.
Primerica ‘field agents’ are Primerica customers. They don’t work for Primerica. So there is no money for them to make at Primerica.
Primerica does sell insurance, but it deliberately sells as little as possible, since that is not where it’s real revenue comes from.
If a ‘field agent’ is aggressive about selling Primerica insurance to the public, Primerica’s legal team will come down on him like a ton of bricks.
That’s why Primerica agents, including the regional ‘bosses’, never use the Primerica logo or name in the ads they put in the classifieds. They don’t do that, because they are not allowed to; and they are not allowed to, because they don’t work for Primerica. They are customers, not employees.
And if they try to act like real employees, Primerica will immediately send them packing.
So it is not possible, even theoretically, for a ‘field agent’ to make any real money. The best he can do is limit his losses.
Is Primerica a legitimate business?
It’s legitimate because it’s business is to let people pretend that they are actual ‘executives.’
You pay Primerica a monthly fee. In exchange, you get a title: you are a ‘team leader.’ If you pay a little extra, you even get a business card and a company shirt.
But make no mistake: you do not work for Primerica. You are a customer. That’s it.
And just like any other customer at any other business, the longer you stay, the more you pay.
If you recruit someone and sell them Primerica insurance, then Primerica will give you a referral fee (falsely referred to as a ‘commision’).
But what you receive in the way of these referral fees will almost never equal, let alone exceed, what you yourself pay to Primerica.
The reason for this is very simple.
All of the money that Primerica ‘field agents’ make comes out of the money that those same field agents give to Primerica.
This means that, as a whole, the class of such agents has to be losing money. They are playing a less-than-zero-sum game.
Of course, this leaves open the possibility that a given field agent might make money, since those proceeds needn’t be distributed equally among agents.
And that’s what field agents are holding out for: they are operating on the assumption that if they recruit enough people, they will get a proportionately larger share of those funds.
But that’s not how it actually works.
What happens is that, as a ‘field agent’ climbs the ranks, he is required to pay larger and larger fees to Primerica.
So, as he earns more, he pays more. And the fee-schedule is set up so that he always gives more to Primerica than he earns.
The low-level ‘field agents’ only have to pay their training fees and their membership fees.
The mid-level ‘field agents’ have to pay their membership-fees, but they also have to pay for additional ‘training seminars’, often involving staying at hotels in other cities. And they pay for everything, down the last peanut from the hotel lobby.
The ‘top’ field agent has to pay for all of the above plus the rent and utilities on the Primerica building he works out of. And he also has to pay for any legal fees he might generate, along with any and all fees relating to marketing and advertising.
Primerica gives him nothing—not even a pencil.
Primerica is not in the insurance business. It’s in the same business as Fantasy Island. You pay your dues, and in exchange, you get to live out your fantasy of not being a total failure.
That fantasy is Primerica’s real product, and it does a very good job of providing its customers with it.
And from that viewpoint, Primerica is entirely legitimate, this being why its stock has risen quite consistently over the last five years.
But if you are ‘field agent’, do know that the fantasy will end, and you will stuck with massive unpaid bills and no way of paying them—or even knowing how to go about trying to do so.