Is WFG an MLM?

Tina Michelle Moller

1/10/20223 min read

WFG (World Financial Group) is an MGA (Managing General Agent) aka. a financial services broker. 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. MLMs are not regulated by a larger governing body and often fall under the pervue of general business conduct laws.

  7. No license required.

  8. Ongoing training is optional or minimal.

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


  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.

  3. WFG has no product. As a distributor of financial services with access to over 200 A-rated product providers and professional money managers, they 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; but, it is strongly recommended each agent complete their own personal financial plan 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 WFG agents in 2021.

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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. 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, review the company's compensation model. If a senior employee is making less than a new hire, RUN AWAY! And if a business' stats are showing less than 1 percent of distributors are able to make a living...RUN AWAY!

If you'd like more information on WFG's model, 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