Is WFG an MLM?

Tina Michelle Moller

1/10/20224 min read

WFG (World Financial Group) is a MGA (Managing General Agent) and their reps are financial services brokers. Although not an MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) company, they do have similarities.

MLMs and WFG. How they're different:


  1. Part of the sign-up fee goes to the recruiter.

  2. The recruiter will always make commissions off the people they recruit.

  3. MLM's sell their own products, i.e. soap, insurance, health supplements, etc.; usually at a much higher price than other companies marketing similar products.

  4. MLMs require their reps to purchase their products at least once, while some MLMs require monthly purchase commitments.

  5. 95-99% of MLM reps report a financial loss on their tax returns as the purchase requirements and costs to run the business are greater than the income.

  6. Those who make the most money have been in the MLM for a very long time.

  7. MLMs are not regulated by a larger governing body and often fall under the pervue of general business conduct laws.

  8. No license required.

  9. Ongoing training is optional or minimal.

  10. If the rep quits, their clients remain with the company and the rep can no longer receive commission.

  11. Worst case scenario, a rep will be in debt and have thousands of dollars of product in their basement that will expire soon.

*These descriptions are general and may not apply to all MLMs.


  1. No part of the "sign-up fee" goes to the recruiter. Start-up costs are limited to the trainee's business code, licensing, and government fees.

  2. Recuiters who hold the same contract level, or lower than their recruit, do not earn override commissions. Once an agent becomes a senior broker with the ability to open offices all across Canada and the US, then they earn permanent override commissions from the agencies they had a hand in building. This passive income is what attracts many entrepreneurs to this model.

  3. WFG has no product. Similar to how Amazon distributes products for other merchants, WFG brokers shop the market to find the best prices for their clients and are not limited to represent any one company.

  4. There is no requirement for WFG agents to purchase any provider products before or after becoming an agent. It is strongly recommended, and in some offices required, for each agent complete a personal financial review before assisting clients with their plan.

  5. The average wage of an agency owner in WFG with 0-3 years experience = $82,000 CAD. Over 1 billion dollars of commission was paid out to WFG agents in 2023. At last convention, over 500 agents made over $100k/yr, and 11 agents made over $1 million/yr, for the first time in their WFG career between June 2022-June 2023.

  6. Many of the agents who crossed over $100k have been with WFG for less than 5 years and had no prior experience in the industry. Many of the first time million dollar earners have been with WFG for less than 10 years.

  7. Government regulations regarding the financial services industry is highly specific and vary with each province and state. Internal audits are performed regularly by WFG's compliance department to ensure WFG agents are meeting government and company standards.

  8. WFG agents must take several courses and pass several government licensing exams before being allowed to work in the industry and earn commissions.

  9. Training varies from office to office but 10 hours of training per week is typical, with much of it being optional. Agents must hold a minimum number of CE (Continuing Education) credits each year to maintain their license. WFG offers many of these mandatory training classes for free.

  10. Senior brokers can sell, transfer, or will their business and clients to other agents within the organization. A senior broker (aka. agency owner) may supplement their retirement with overrides from the agency they built as long as they continue to hold the valid licenses and keep up-to-date with continuing education credits. Junior brokers and above are vested and can continue to earn residuals, even if they no longer work with WFG.

  11. Worst case scenario, an agent will help a few families, gain a world class education on money and business, and they can apply for a job at any insurance company as their license is transferable.

MLMs and WFG. How they're similar:

  1. They use relationship (network) marketing. WFG agents use referrals as the main source of new clients and potential agents. This is also true for most MLMs and other business models.

  2. They recruit. This is a quality of every business but MLMs and WFG stress the practice even more. While other financial service companies are shrinking in size as senior staff retire, WFG is growing at an incredible rate because of their recruiting focus.

  3. Recruiting is optional (though highly encouraged). Most MLMs do not require recruits to start but it is very difficult to earn an income without them. At WFG, an agent can earn a living wage without ever recruiting.

  4. Neither hire employees for their sales force. While they may hire employees for back office support, reps are usually independent contractors who earn commission and not an hourly wage or salary.

  5. The filters are on the inside. While most employers toss hundreds of resumes in the garbage and choose 5 to interview for 1 position, MLMs and WFG recruit the 100s because they don't know who will succeed and who will not. When building an agency across two countries (with plans to expand beyond these borders), there's no limit to the number of positions available. On the downside, because of the low cost and easiness to buy into this business model, many don't treat their MLM or WFG business as a business.

  6. New reps are trained by more experienced reps and in turn train future agents as they gain experience. In WFG, a person cannot become a trainer without passing the Certified Field Trainer course and exam, though this may not be the case in all offices.

Closing Thoughts

When considering any career as an employee or entrepreneur, ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I passionate about the product/service?
2. Of those in this company who started 5/10/20 years ago, where are they now? Are they happy? Are they financially independent?
3. What percentage of those who started 5/10/20 years ago are living the life they dream? Why or why not?

I know the answers to these questions with regards to WFG and I'm excited! If you'd like more information about WFG's business model or have any questions regarding finances, please contact me at

The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not reflect WFG or any other organization. I also claim any errors made as my own. To offer corrections or feedback, please contact me. Sincerely, Tina Michelle Moller