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Aug 10, 2008 10:21 pm

I have been debating a change of career for the last few months (24, married, wife stays home, been in management for 3 years - currently a Customer Relations Manager at a large Ford Dealership, also pursuing a MBA).  The insurance and financial services industry has always appealed to me.  After applying to multiple companies I decided to pursue the interview process with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network (NMFN).  After going through the whole interview process I accepted the job offer today! 


I have spent hours and hours the last couple months online trying to get good information on NMFN and also more general information about the career.  While there is some information out there it is pretty tough to find anything helpful (it seems like there are 100s of posts about ML, EJ, Met, & NY but only a couple mentioning NMFN despite being the 3rd biggest insurance company and a growing force in the financial services industry). 


I would be more than happy to answer any questions about my experience (to this point) with NMFN if anyone would like to know.  Keep in mind (with anything you read online) that my opinion is biased.  I am only relaying information on my experiences.  I do not have previous experience in the industry so I don't have much to compare it too...  I'd also love to hear any feedback or advice you have for me!

Aug 10, 2008 10:50 pm

I have never had any dealings with them.  I have a few coworkers who interned for them during their summers off in college and do not have good feelings about their experience. 



 
Whatever the situation is, make the best of it.
Aug 10, 2008 10:57 pm

Thank you for the "warm wishes" iceco1d : ) .  The points you bring up are the exact points I have been debating myself the last couple months.  Just to clarify some of your assumptions above- as stated above I did apply and interview with some other firms (and other management jobs also), we have a decent amount of savings for our age and $0 debt except our home mortgage,  and we do not have any of our own kids - actually my wife stays home so we can do emergency foster care (she was a math teacher before staying home).  I am also taking a break from the MBA program until I feel comfortable with the time commitment. 


I understand what you are saying is that the financial services industry is tough to start in - especially with no prior experience.  I wish it was something I had started in two years ago when my wife was teaching and we had an apartment but unfortunately I didn't.  I had to make the decision that if I am going to do it - I better do it now before I get too rooted in the automotive industry. 
 
Thank you for posting.
Aug 11, 2008 8:56 am

Silver, NMFN is a very good company and you can do a good job for both yourself and your clients there.  They are as strong as any company in any industry. 

Aug 11, 2008 11:36 am

good luck.  don't kid yourself into thinking you will be a full blown financial planner/advisor early on though.  NMFN is an insurance driven company, and while there is nothing inherently wrong with that, you will have nice sized minimums to meet from selling life insurance.  please try not to take the company line without asking questions when it comes to whole life or acl or whatever they call it now.  i have worked for them before, so i know their model and company line.  they nickel and dime you much like Jones does, almost more so since they offer little in the way of marketing/office assistant/store front/etc.  their name brand recognition is nice within the circles you wish to operate.  hope things work out for you, probably a good way to start at your age.  do alot of joint work and sit back and listen during appointments, you will earn alot.

Nov 2, 2008 8:54 am

Hello Silver,

 
How are you doing ?  Hope all is well with you after almost 3 months with NMFN.
 
May you share more of your experience with them so far ?
 
Thanks,
 
 
Nov 26, 2008 4:11 pm

It is going great!  I love the company, the training provided, and the line of work. 

 
I just finished my 2nd month in the field, and things are getting better!  Their goal for us is to have 40 lives (policies) by our first 6 months.  Only 12% of reps achieve this goal.  At the end of my 2nd month, I have 32 submitted (they aren't finalized yet but I am looking to hit my 40 by my 4th month!
 
The people in the posts above are correct - you do not start out as a financial ADVISOR and shouldn't think of yourself as one.  I still haven't gotten my investment licenses so the small 401k rollovers I have come across are going to my mentor right now.  Since I am doing well with the life insurance, they will give me the go ahead to start the 6/63 (or 7 if i want) and then I have a few years to work on my CFP and/or ChFC. 

 
So far I am impressed with the industry and the company.  In this economy, people like a company like NMFN who are top rated in financial strength.  The paychecks have been small so far but I knew that going in.  I finally closed a decent size case this week (covers 1 month expenses for me) so things are starting to look up!  I wasn't sure at first if this would be something I'd be good at but so far so good!
Nov 26, 2008 4:20 pm
anonymous:

Silver, NMFN is a very good company and you can do a good job for both yourself and your clients there.  They are as strong as any company in any industry. 



Anonymous would know...he works there.

Nov 26, 2008 4:22 pm

So all you sell if whole life?? Not sure how that is helping people

Nov 26, 2008 5:30 pm

This sounds like a good way to start your career. Keep it up.


Nov 26, 2008 6:12 pm

I agree at the age of 24 it's awefully hard to get a guy who has shoes older than you to trust you with his financial future, but insurance age doesnt matter in fact I think being younger and in the field is an advantage. If you are older and still in the field many people wonder why you're not a manager. Try to find the proct they have that is commoditized the most like health insurance for exanple. Quickest way in the door and to a sale. Do a great job there and you'll have a shoe in for other products. Starting out at a wirehouse at 24 ... you're just a temporary prospecting machine who's efforts would soon be split up among the boys club.

Nov 26, 2008 8:55 pm

Bobby, I'm not with Northwestern Mutual.  I would never take a job with them.  I do, though, think that they are an excellent company.  If I'm in a competetive insurance situation, they are the company that I least like to be in competition against. 

 
"So all you sell if whole life?? Not sure how that is helping people "
 
Squash, he didn't mention whole life.  If he is selling whole life, and I'm sure that he is, isn't he helping people if he's selling it to people who can benefit from the product?
Nov 26, 2008 9:14 pm
anonymous:

Bobby, I'm not with Northwestern Mutual.  I would never take a job with them.  I do, though, think that they are an excellent company.  If I'm in a competetive insurance situation, they are the company that I least like to be in competition against. 

 
"So all you sell if whole life?? Not sure how that is helping people "
 
Squash, he didn't mention whole life.  If he is selling whole life, and I'm sure that he is, isn't he helping people if he's selling it to people who can benefit from the product?



I think so, too. I have a sizable WL policy with them and if I could contract with them, I would.

Nov 26, 2008 9:55 pm
Is this firm a one product deal? If so screw that. Were I to do it all over again I would find a firm I could do P&C business (a commodity) so you can get into any door to save them some cash and then give them an assessment on their other financial needs. If I had to choose a firm I would go with Farm Bureau.
Nov 26, 2008 10:32 pm

They aren't a one product deal, but one needs to be selling life insurance if they are going to work there.

 
From what I've seen, people who try to do P&C business end up being P&C agents.  Precisely because P&C is such a commodity, it seems to be a different set of sales skills needed to be successful. 
Nov 27, 2008 1:38 am

you'd go to Farm Bureau for what? i have a good friend who works for them and when i hear him referred to as an investment specialist (by other p&c guys/his business card) i laugh/cringe. 1 annuity company and maybe 3-4 fund companies they can write?? he is basically an american funds rep.

Nov 27, 2008 2:52 pm

Silverstang,

 
First and foremost, I just wanted to congratulate you on your success. It appears that you're going to be one of the very few that would make first year's cut. Out of curiosity, how did you begin prospecting with Northwestern for the policies you've wrote?