Freedom 55 Financial

www.f55ftorontometro.com
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Freedom 55 Financial Reviews

Updated March 27, 2015
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  1. Good experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Saint John, NB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Saint John, NB (Canada)

    I have been working at Freedom 55 Financial

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Excellent training great people to work with

    Cons

    100% compensation based need to be always looking for new business

  2. Feels like home

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Regional Operations Manager in Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Regional Operations Manager in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Freedom 55 Financial full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great company. Feels like family. Best training system in the industry. Recruits are paid through training and licensing. Best support system is there from management all you have to do is ask if you need any help.
    #lovethiscareer

    Cons

    A lot of change right now it's a little hard to keep up but it's all making things better in the business. You just need to stay on top of updates and you'll be fine.

    Freedom 55 Financial Response

    Mar 5, 2015Director - Advisor Recruiting Ottawa

    Thank you for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts about our office. It makes us very proud to know we are fostering a great team environment. We are always open to improvement; please don't ... More

  3. Good feeling

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Montreal, QC (Canada)

    I have been working at Freedom 55 Financial

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Training is paid and great

    Cons

    Costs are higher than average

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  5. The hardest sales job you will find

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Freedom 55 Financial full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Intense and comprehensive training, solid support system and flexible work schedule, good commission rates

    Cons

    No base salary, work odd hours, lots of cold calls, compensated only after contracts are placed (may take several months)

  6. Underwhelming Experience at Best

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Security Advisor in Barrie, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Financial Security Advisor in Barrie, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Freedom 55 Financial full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The potential to make a lot of money is there.

    Cons

    In my personal experience, the biggest con was the fact that I had to sit through the single most unprofessional exit interview of my life. I don't know if the RD usually performs advisor exit interviews, but my director wasn't able to be there, so that is what happened in my case, and it was a terrible experience. Accusatory, unprofessional, and downright condescending because I chose a different career path. If you do go for this as a career and it doesn't work out, my advice is to quit via email. That exit interview was the last con on top of all the others that were my reason for quitting. The compensation structure is simply not sensible if they are serious about recruiting recent grads and/or young people who have any type of debt in today's economy. The "technical difficulties" that this company is currently facing as a result of some new online business platforms was irritating at best and impossible to work with at worst. And finally, there is a serious communication problem between the RD and the rest of the office.

    Advice to Management

    The communication problem needs to be addressed. Nobody is all-seeing and all-knowing, and it should be understood that there are always things going on that you may not know about. Encouraging more of a community feeling in the office where there is trust and openness would make it a much better place to work and would help to begin to solve that communication problem, but I'm afraid that the "trust" aspect has to be earned by management and RD, and I'm just not sure if I see that happening in a genuine way where it matters most. Also, on a side note, I don't think salary management members should be able to work as advisors as well. How can the company be sure that they are using their salary-paid time for their salary duties and not neglecting those duties for the chance to make more money? Because I'm quite sure that the company cannot be sure of that at all. And I'm even more sure that it is taking away from the time that certain people should be focused on being a leader on the management team in that office.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Tough job with potential to make good money. Just don't work at the wrong office!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Security Advisor in Barrie, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Financial Security Advisor in Barrie, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Freedom 55 Financial full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Potential to make big money, can work from home in many cases, flexibility in schedule and choice of what you want to sell and who you want to target to sell to.

    Cons

    Working in the Georgian Bay office was the biggest con in my time with the company. The management needs an overhaul as there is a really poor culture and little support for new advisors. Some of the directors and the ROM were awesome, but in some cases what went on was beyond surprising. There was a feeling that some of the directors/RD preferred to talk about new advisors without them there rather than supporting them and discussing issues with them. The job is a difficult but rewarding one, and it would be a lot easier to be successful if the fees weren't so astronomical and if there wasn't so much animosity and "office politics" going on within the building.

    Advice to Management

    Other than the ROM and the few genuinely great directors, management either needs to go through some kind of training overhaul or just an overhaul in general.

  8. Helpful (1)

    Good and bad.... one of the better companies in the financial services industry, but not easy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Agent in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Sales Agent in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    I have been working at Freedom 55 Financial full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    They do provide training, however you may need to re train yourself in the field a bit. If you have a good director (manager) it could be a good experience, if not it could be hell. Excellent support for the laptops agents lease, head office can answer many questions for agents if you need an answer quick. You need to go find clients - this is a positive if you have a large circle of folks just waiting to do business with you, or if you are REALLY comfortable with cold-calling. If not read the cons part of this review. You are not pressured to sell any specific product, but you must sell in order to stay. Insurance products are a very good shelf of products.

    Cons

    straight commission, your really on your own to find clients. Many directors tell people when they are considering joining that the company will provide 200 "seeded" clients, then after you get hired, suddenly there is not enough to go around. After 4 years I have been given only a few dozen. If you take a draw and don't sell you may find that when you quit that you owe them money. Management may or may not have real experience in selling regardless of what they tell you. If you are not willing to call 5->8 new people a day you will not likely succeed. Many agents feel that the main worry is finding enough new people to talk to. Agents can buy support (MA's) to help with paperwork etc but it is limited and expensive. Health plan is available but expensive. If you sell investment products other than the Freedom 55 product self there is no commission paid just a small trailer. Work life balance could be a problem

    Advice to Management

    STOP lying to prospective agents and agents after they have been hired. Drop this whole 200 seeded client facade. Help all agents, not just the ones that are doing well in sales. Make sure managers really have true long term sales experience. Lack of a T-100 product is a problem and no, UL is not the answer, standard investment pre built portfolios are a bit weak on returns when compared with other products out there but so are many many other companies

  9. A difficult way to make really good money

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Security Advisor
    Current Employee - Financial Security Advisor

    I have been working at Freedom 55 Financial full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The training is impeccable, and the diminishing training salary was very helpful - only self-employed finance company in Canada that offers such a great introductory package.
    The tools for success are there, you get benefits, and lots of ongoing support.
    Training is usually very well done
    Management is often high quality
    Opportunity to educate your peers on financial independence - an extremely valuable and satisfying service
    Pay can be absolutely incredible

    Cons

    So far, this position is extremely difficult - but it really depends on who you are, who you can do business with, and what your personal drive is.
    Disorganization in head office has led to several delays in pay for me, and unnecessary fires to put out that cost time, money, and focus.

    Advice to Management

    Tighten up procedures at head office

  10. Helpful (3)

    Unless you already have 10 yrs of industry experience at a bank, brokerage, mutual fund or insurance - forget about it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Fsa in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Fsa in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Freedom 55 Financial full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    This is a great company if you are one of the top advisors. (Achieving this level is tough) Lots of recognition and freebies (Trips, trainings, gift cards, jewellery & TV's.) You set your own schedule and answer to yourself or your wife (when she sees your paycheque). The kind of people who survive and thrive at this company are generally high quality individuals; Hard working, salt of the earth. You will make life long friends in this organization. Those who join and stay are truly exceptional.

    Since the company owns the client relationships end of day, if you are in the good books of management, you will do very well. If you are good at office politics, you'll thrive. Understand what is required of you and deliver, and you'll be handsomely rewarded.

    This is one of the few places where anyone with the right personality and drive can make a huge income regardless of their level of education. Where else can a grade 12 educated individual earn seven figures? The sky is the limit.

    Cons

    This company has really changed since GWL took them over in the late 1990's. Back in the good old days this company was very Advisor friendly. Now, it is every man for himself. Management is chalked full of folks who couldn't make it as Advisors, and they are responsible for training the brand new advisors. Since most of their compensation is paid on the sales generated by new Advisors in their first 2 years with the company, be prepared for reasonable support during that time and then to have a little less in years 3 & 4. Once you are in year 5 and beyond, you are dropped like a hot potato, even higher production Advisors. In many regions the Directors have been hiring their wives and then when Advisors on a Director's team fail, magically the wife becomes the new Advisor on all of the leaving Advisor's clients (friends & family). This means there are fewer and fewer 'seeded clients' available to new Advisors. This paired with the senior management's objective of Directors (who have 15 to 20 Advisors under their guidance) is to spend 30% of their time with their team and 70% prospecting for NEW HIRES. No wonder the support is so fleeting.

    Head office isn't much better. Most of the folks in the top positions wouldn't last 2 years in the field. Their focus is in selling more proprietary products especially the more profitable mutual fund family. Check out the performance of their funds and make sure you can stomach it's mediocrity. Strive for average is the apparent motto. Don't fool yourself this is an insurance company that can sell investments and not a wealth management firm.

    Costs are excessive. Between $1000 $ 3000 per month is about average in the first 5 years. (I currently am running around $6000/m overhead which is average for an Advisor of my tenure) In the beginning, when you realize that no one is helping you transact the business you are writing up and you are forced to get a 'marketing associate'. These ladies mean well, but are for the most part lazy and incompetent. In my office they are allowed to refuse to call clients and request additional under the table funding if they grace your business with phone calls to existing clients at a rate of $20-25 per call. They report to none and essentially end up costing you huge money both from their incompetence (mistakes which you are fully on the hook for) and unused time. You buy their time in 4 hour/week blocks that don't carry forward. Go one hour over and you are forced to take an additional 4 hour/week time block. Sounded great in the beginning to have a team, but really is just another large expense that will increase your likelihood of a ZERO pay in your first few years.

    You are also forced to sign up for their health & dental & drug plan. It is outrageously expensive. (Due to an average advisor age of 58yrs) My benefits cost me over $6000 per year and were locked in for 3 years in the beginning. Plus due to a timing discrepancy of two days, didn't cover a 1500 orthotic brace. No flexibility and costs that seem to be designed to generate additional profits for GWL (the parent company) shareholders is what this looked like.

    When you start, directors in my office say you can set your own hours and vacation time. They say you can do this job Monday to Thursday and take Friday off. Sounds great. But that is just to make the company set minimums, which are below the poverty line for pay. What they should say is be prepared to work half a day, meaning 12 hours 6 days a week for 5 years or you probably won't make it. Have excess funds set aside for lean months - you'll need about $25-50K (whatever you live off in a year.)

    You are better off starting at a salaried position at a Bank, Discount broker or mutual fund company to gain experience in the industry and achieve at least one of your licenses before you begin here. Until these things are addressed and the entire system revamped, I will not recommend this company or career to anyone I know. The chances of success are too slim in the current structure.

    Advice to Management

    Revamp the new advisor training to set newbies up for success. Ensure they are competent to do business (know how as well as what to do). Can the MA program it is a rip off. Find a way to better support the sales process. Communicate better with Advisors and hire more directors - 15 - 20 in a group is too many. Half that would be reasonable.

    Stop the problem associated with hiring the wives by having a requirement for each client they bring on board to have an additional client interview on how they met the 'wife' advisor and ensure it is from a legitimate source not poaching from the seed pool.

  11. BE YOUR OWN BOSS

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Security Advisor in Mississauga, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Financial Security Advisor in Mississauga, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Freedom 55 Financial full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    If you are looking to becoming a financial advisor, they offer a great training program, as well as paid. They also pay for your licensing.

    Cons

    i find that once you get hired and pass the training, the support lacks. This job is 100% commission, and you are expected to find your own clients. The office fees they charge you are astronomical. You pay rough 300-500 in fees per month. If you are not putting in business, you will end up going in the hole every month.

    Advice to Management

    keep track of your advisor, and support them even after the training is over.

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