Addicted to novelty since 2001

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.

318 Responses to “You’d Be Wise to Avoid Freedom 55 Financial”

  1. Heather

    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. Darren

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

    Greg Reply:

    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.

    Gary Reply:

    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

    Dan Reply:

    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!

    Kevin Reply:

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    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.

    Curtis Reply:

    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!

    Dan Reply:

    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”

    JEL Reply:

    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. Pat

    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.

    Sally Reply:

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

  4. Sam

    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.

    Sally Reply:

    Even a blind Dog finds a bone from time to time!

  5. Angela

    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!

    Gary Reply:

    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.

    Tamara Reply:

    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.

    Tammy Reply:

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    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??

    James Reply:

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    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. Elie Nafekh

    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.

    A.D. Cossaboom Reply:

    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

    Jonathan Reply:

    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.

    Tammy Reply:

    Well said Darren! Well said!

  7. Todd Babcock, CFP, CLU, RHU

    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. Alex.

    Hello, I would like to hear more details too. I just applied to work there yesterday!

  9. Jen

    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.

  10. Sarah

    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

  11. Jack

    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.

    Richard Furness Reply:

    Jack, if you practise in Ontario, and send me your e-mail address, I might have a client for you.

    Phong Reply:

    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.

    Linda Reply:

    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.

    Nici Reply:

    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.

    Greg Reply:

    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

    Erik Reply:

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    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.

    Jonathan Reply:

    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.

  12. Peggy

    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.

    Phong Reply:

    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

    Dave Reply:

    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.

    Nicola Reply:

    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.

  13. Rick

    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.

  14. darren

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

  15. Rick

    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.

  16. Gordan

    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?

  17. Gordan

    Darren:

    I just noticed an ad for Manulife listing health benefits on this page?

    That is kind of a coincidence?

  18. darren

    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).

  19. Mark

    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 ….

    Marc Reply:

    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.

  20. Shawn Lariviere, FMA

    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.

  21. Todd Babcock CFP, CLU, RHU

    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

  22. Jermaine Williams

    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.

  23. brad

    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!

  24. Richard

    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.

  25. Jack

    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.

    Mark Reply:

    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!!

    Marc Reply:

    Hy, Jack it is a sales position, every sales company in the world looks to recruit. Time to wake up.

    paul Reply:

    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%,

  26. Val Eybel

    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.

  27. Gordon

    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.

  28. Dan

    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!

  29. Paul

    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!

  30. Mark

    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.

    Jonathan Reply:

    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.

  31. Mark

    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.

  32. Karen

    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.

  33. Rick

    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).

    Marc Reply:

    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.

    Jorge Herrera Reply:

    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.

  34. Rob Scott

    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.

  35. Ben

    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!

    Marc Reply:

    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!

  36. wade

    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

  37. Larry

    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,

    yah right Reply:

    there is plenty of idiots on this blog.

  38. Paul

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    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.

  39. Rick

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    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!!!

    Marc Reply:

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    Hey Rick still waiting…?

  40. Mary

    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.

    Bart Reply:

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    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????

  41. Robert Chu

    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!

  42. eric

    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.

  43. Alyssa

    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.

    Linda Reply:

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    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,

  44. Michelle

    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.

    Marc Reply:

    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!

  45. trevor macquarrie

    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.

  46. Altone cardinal

    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.

  47. concerned advocate

    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.

  48. helping hand

    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.

    Leigh Reply:

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

    One Reply:

    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!!

  49. Jane

    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?

    Linda Reply:

    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. ?????

    Curtis Reply:

    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

    yah right Reply:

    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??

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