Premier Financial Alliance promises you the opportunity of a lifetime and the chance to build your own successful financial services business. In this Premier Financial Alliance review, I take a close look at the company’s claims of success.
What is Premier Financial Alliance? Premier Financial Alliance is a secretive multi-level marketing company claiming to offer an opportunity to build a financial services business. A lawsuit filed in California claims Premier Financial Alliance is a “classic pyramid scheme.”
Premier Financial Alliance website claims to be an innovative leader in the financial services industry and to have helped thousands of people to live their dreams and achieve financial freedom. However, there is no evidence on the Premier Financial website to substantiate these assertions.
Premier Financial Alliance Review.
The purpose of this Premier Financial Alliance review is to help you decide if the business opportunity is legitimate and what you can expect if you join.
No Retail Sales?
A California lawsuit alleging that Premier Financial Alliance is a pyramid scheme also states that commissions are earned on the sale of over-priced life insurance and that money is made by recruiting others into the scheme and selling them the same over-priced life insurance.
This allegation is significant because a telltale sign of a pyramid scheme is lack of retail sales to the public. According to the lawsuit, Premier Financial Alliance members only sell insurance to other members, indicating that PFA may indeed be a pyramid scheme.
Premier Financial Alliance is a Pig in a Poke.
Most of what you find on the Premier Financial Alliance website (pfaonline.com) pushes the business opportunity. Unfortunately, what you won’t find on the PFA website is specific information that will help you determine what the business opportunity is or if it’s right for you.
Due Diligence is Essential.
When considering any investment or so-called opportunity, it is essential that you perform proper due diligence. It starts with a look at the company’s Earning Disclosure Statement.
Multi-level marketing companies that are members of the Direct Selling Association must make available to all prospects an Earning Disclosure Statement. According to the Direct Selling Associate’s Code of Ethics, the information on the Earning Disclosure must be “substantiated by competent and reliable evidence.”
An honest Earning Disclosure Statement shows the percentage of MLM members that are earning commissions, how much they are earning and the probability of success.
Without an Earning Disclosure Statement, it is not possible to perform due diligence.
No Income Disclosure Statement = No Go!
Premier Financial Alliance does not have an Earning Disclosure Statement. Without it, we cannot perform proper due diligence on the business opportunity.
Without a thorough analysis of the opportunity, it would be foolish to get involved with Premier Financial Alliance. The lack of an Earning Disclosure Statement is a huge red flag and all the reason we need to pass on the so-called opportunity.
This shortcoming is only one of several signs that Premier Financial Alliance is not honest or transparent. That is reason enough to avoid it.
Premier Financial Alliance Website.
Like every other MLM, the Premier Financial Alliance website sells a dream of financial independence, and that’s about all it does. You won’t find anything specific about what Premier Financial Alliance is or what you must do to succeed with their opportunity.
Every page of the PFA website attempts to make you feel greedy for the pig in a poke they are selling. Any time a company tries to make you feel greedy for their “opportunity” but hides the details, it’s suspicious.
$125 Non-Refundable Fee.
If you want more information about PFA than the website provides you must fill out a lengthy questionnaire and include the member number of the PFA associate who would be your sponsor. In other words, you must enter the recruiting process.
At least on one level, it appears that the immediate goal of the Premier Financial Alliance website is to get people to fill out the questionnaire. In the questionnaire, you’re required to provide a phone number. Premier Financial Alliance insistence that you give them your phone number is suspicious.
Phone conversations are not regulated. Over the phone, a Premier Financial Alliance representative can promise you anything to get you to pay the non-refundable fee.
Legally, in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission enforces anything that might be considered advertising. Statements made on a website could be legally binding.
Perhaps this is why there is so little information on the Premier Financial Alliance website.
I suspect if you did fill out the PFA questionnaire, you would soon get a phone call from a rep who tries to talk you into paying the non-refundable fee.
Premier Financial Alliance Lawsuit.
A RICO class action lawsuit filed in California in June 2018, alleges that Premier Financial Alliance operates an illegal pyramid scheme. The lawsuit specifically alleges that members of PFA earn commissions solely by recruiting new members and not by retailing insurance to non-members. The lawsuit also alleges that PFA promises members they can achieve “vast wealth” with their PFA business but that over 95% of PFA associates lose money.
In a press release found on the PFA website, Premier Financial Alliance states that they are a “victim of false accusations” and that they consider the lawsuit a nuisance action attempting to “obtain a large settlement without having to litigate the merits of the complaint.”
The court will determine if Premier Financial Alliance is a pyramid scheme. However, we can use criteria established by Dr. Jon Taylor and published on the Federal Trade Commission’s website to determine how closely PFA resembles a pyramid scheme.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if PFA is a pyramid scheme or not. What matters, if you are considering the business opportunity, is whether you have a reasonable chance at success. I doubt it.
Not a Member of DSA.
The Direct Sellers Association attempts to regulate direct selling companies and multi-level marketing companies. Companies that are members of DSA agree to a code of ethics and to resolve complaints registered with DSA.
Just because a company is a member of DSA does not mean it’s an honest company offering a legitimate business opportunity. However, it does show that the company is at least paying lip service to a code of ethics.
When an MLM is not a member of DSA, it is cause for concern as it reveals they are not the least bit interested in appearing legitimate or abiding by any code of ethics.
In performing due diligence on an MLM company, DSA is a good place to start. A quick search of DSA members reveals that Premier Financial Alliance is NOT a member of DSA.
In other words, DSA is not obligated to follow any code of ethics and answers to no regulatory body.
Is Premier Financial Alliance a Pyramid Scheme?
Dr. Taylor developed five questions to answer about a company to determine if it might be a pyramid scheme. Essentially, by answering Taylor’s questions, we can find out if a company is legitimate or if it exploits its associates.
Taylor’s questions are listed below.
Finding the Answers.
With an MLM that is a member of the Direct Sellers Association, the answers to these questions can be found in the Earning Disclosure Statement and the Compensation Plan. Unfortunately, neither are available for Premier Financial Alliance.
Is success with Premier Financial Alliance dependent on recruiting?
Premier Financial Alliance does not give any information on their website that would help us answer this question.
A legitimate direct selling company earns most of its revenue through retail sales. A member can earn a respectable income with only selling the products of a legitimate direct selling company and never have to recruit.
The lawsuit filed in California alleges that success with PFA is completely dependent on recruitment.
The questionnaire on the PFA website certainly raises the assumption that Premier Financial Alliance is dependent on recruitment. The PFA questionnaire clearly states at the top that all fields must be completed. Then it asks for your “Referring Associate PFA ID.” This requirement suggests that recruiting is central to the PFA business opportunity.
Pyramid schemes are dependent on recruiting. If recruiting stops, a pyramid scheme will collapse. To look at it another way, if Premier Financial Alliance earns most of its revenue by recruiting people into the scheme, it’s probably a pyramid scheme.
Since there is no evidence on the website that retail sales are even possible, I suspect that PFA is indeed dependent on recruiting, but ultimately, the answer to this question cannot be conclusively determined.
Does Premier Financial Alliance Permit Unlimited Recruiting?
Again, there is no information on the PFA website that answers this question.
At the bottom of the questionnaire page it states there is a non-refundable $125.00 association fee that permits PFA members to use a proprietary marketing system, but that the payment of this fee does not permit members to market products or to receive compensation and that all state licensing must be completed before selling life insurance and receiving commissions or overrides.
In other words, although you pay the fee, you’re not in business.
Assigning and protecting territories is something a legitimate direct selling company will do to protect the income of its salespeople. If PFA protected territories, I would expect it to mention the fact. It doesn’t
Pyramid schemes are dependent on recruiting. If they stop recruiting, pyramid schemes quickly collapse. Unlike a legitimate direct sales company, a pyramid scheme must permit unlimited recruiting or die.
Are PFA members required to spend money to start and must they spend money each month to qualify for commissions or bonuses?
We know from the notice at the bottom of the PFA questionnaire page that a member must pay a $125 non-refundable fee. It’s not clear what benefits a member gets for paying this fee or what additional expenses a member might pay.
Pyramid schemes typically require members to “Pay to Play.” Pay to play means a member must pay for the opportunity to make money for the company. That appears to be happening with PFA.
When you join PFA, you pay a $125 fee to the company. Then, once you’re a member and duly licensed, you recruit people into the scheme who also pay the $125 fee to the company. That’s insane.
When a sale is made, does someone upline who had nothing to do with the sale earn about as much as the member who made the sale?
Again, because Premier Financial is so secretive and evasive, we cannot determine how much a member earns when she makes a sale or how much her upline earns.
There are reports online about the commission structure of PFA, but we cannot perform credible due diligence based on information from third party websites.
Pyramid schemes are structured to funnel money from the bottom of the organization to the top. To achieve this, they create a commission structure that rewards the founder of the scheme and a few members at the topmost ranks who joined the scheme early.
Since Premier Financial Alliance has taken no steps to prove they are NOT a pyramid scheme, we may assume the worse.
Does PFA pay overrides or commissions on more than four levels above the distributor making the sale or purchase?
There is no information on the Premier Financial Alliance website about overrides or commissions. Other sources online report that PFA has ten affiliate ranks. If this is true, PFA is hiding it for some reason.
A legitimate direct sales company will have no more than four levels of rank and overrides. That usually corresponds to four levels of management such as local, state, regional and national.
A legitimate direct sales company keeps management streamlined and compact, so the largest percentage of commissions is paid to the people making the sales.
A pyramid scheme does just the opposite. It creates several levels, so money is gathered across a wide base and funneled to a few people at the top who had nothing to do with the sale. That appears to be the case with Premier Financial Alliance, but there is no evidence on their website confirming this assumption.
We could not conclusively answer the five questions because Premier Financial Alliance withholds information. The most glaring red flag is that no one can perform proper due diligence on the business opportunity. That’s all the reason you need to avoid PFA.
If you pursue the PFA business opportunity, you will be going in blind. That is not the way to start a business. By keeping so many secrets, PFA has full control. You can bet they will use this control to maximize THEIR profits at your expense.
Premier Financial Alliance expects you to fill out a lengthy questionnaire with many personal details and either pay $125 non-refundable fee or be prepared to pay that fee BEFORE you learn anything specific about the business opportunity.
That’s like putting your money on the table and rolling the dice. The odds are you will lose.
How does Premier Financial Alliance work? Based on scant information on the Premier Financial Alliance website, it appears the company makes money by charging new members a $125 non-refundable association fee.
After paying the $125 non-refundable fee AND getting a license to sell life insurance, PFA members can recruit others into the scheme. However, a statement on the PFA website states that no commissions can be earned until a member is licensed to sell life insurance.
It can take months and considerable expense to get a license to sell life insurance. Each state has specific fees and requirements for a life insurance license. Some states require license applicants to complete 40 hours or more of classroom training.
The Premier Financial Alliance Lawsuit. The PFA lawsuit is still playing out. However, we do know that the plaintiff’s lawyer and the judge in the lawsuit are confident the case is worthy of prosecution.
The plaintiffs charge that Premier Financial Alliance is a pyramid scheme and an endless chain recruiting scam. Members are forced to buy extremely expensive life insurance and then recruit others to do the same. The plaintiffs also claim that the cost of the insurance is so expensive it cannot compete as a retail product and only members of PFA purchase it as a requirement to qualify for commissions and overrides.
Can You Trust Premier Financial Alliance? Premier Financial Alliance has done nothing to prove they are trustworthy and everything to prove they are not.
In my opinion, at best, Premier Financial Alliance is a poorly organized and managed MLM. At worse, it’s a pyramid scheme as the lawsuit alleges.
If you are considering the Premier Financial Alliance business opportunity, ask yourself, do you trust them? If you do, the first step is to give them $125 you will never get back.
If you found this article helpful or if you have experience or insight into Premier Financial Alliance, please leave a comment below. Thank you.