Northwestern Mutual
Happiness rating is 62 out of 100
3.8 out of 5 stars.
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Northwestern Mutual Pay & Benefits reviews: Financial Advisor

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What people like
  • Supportive environment
  • Ability to learn new things
  • Time and location flexibility
Areas for improvement
  • Fair pay for job
  • Overall satisfaction
  • General feeling of work happiness
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Good fit for the right person

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Could be a great place if you are the right type of person for this role. The company provides zero to start with outside of a laptop. They do not pay you during training and licensing. They claim to pay you throughout goals, but then tell you after you started that they'll only pay a small amount after completion of training. Great place if you can do it, and have a few months of bills saved up you can afford to loose while getting started.

Pros

Make your own work week. Amazing people

Cons

Zero pay for training or getting started
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Great Learning Opportunity but must fit into their system for it to work

Northwestern will pay for your licenses and designations and has a great training program. You will receive no support in terms of lead generation, so be prepared to potentially ruin relationships with friends and family. Since it is a commission only role, you need to make sales just to put a roof over your head and food on your table. This can lead to you compromising your morals just to make a sale. As much as they can claim to be a comprehensive planning firm, their payment structure and business is based off of permanent (all base) insurance sales. You CAN have a solid career here, however you need to be someone that does exactly what they are told. They do a good job of training you to a certain point, but they only want you learning a certain amount of information so that you still have to bring in a senior advisor into a case just to split commission with. You also are fully captive, if you leave northwestern mutual you lose all renewals and revenues.

Pros

Great People

Cons

Poor management, A LOT of micromanagement for not receiving a salary
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Great place if you have a supportive network and the right management

Starting out you will be tasked with connecting a more tenured advisor with your friends and family to help with with their financial planning and insurance needs. In the beginning, there is a strong focus on the foundational insurance pieces due to most families being severely under-insured, and insurance having the most immediate compensation.

Pros

great compensation if you produce

Cons

vast majority of people do not produce
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Horrible

They make lots of promises that are never followed through on. Management is basically a pyramid scheme. You are not an advisor. You’re an insurance salesman.

Pros

Flexibility

Cons

Horrible culture
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Know what you're getting yourself into

I can only speak for the Walnut Creek branch. This isn't a "bad" job. However, the recruiters (and perhaps company) do a poor job of accurately explaining what your position truly is. They preach their advisors practice "holistic planning" through investments and insurance, but you really just sell life insurance. Even when you get your investment licenses, you are still judged and reviewed based upon your life insurance sales. If what I said above is true, to be honest, I can understand why. Few people really want to be a life insurance salesperson. They could be positioning their job titles as such to try and bring on new employees as so many leave within the first year. It is a tough, tough job.They also preach how you can work from anywhere, which is true to some extent, but you need to be working there a year or two before you earn that freedom. This 1-2 year period was not mentioned by the recruiters.To be fair, this job can be extremely rewarding. You have the ability to make a TON of money and IMPACT people's lives. The catch is that you have to work at Northwestern Mutual a long time as the rewards and benefits are extremely back-end heavy soyou need to grind through the first 4 or so years. If you can survive non-stop cold-calling and stay on top of your business 100% of the time, this will be one of the best jobs for you from almost any perspective. I believe Northwestern Mutual has some of the best products on the market and the corporate culture truly cares about its clients. I don't think many people are cut out for this job. I wouldn't discourage people - 

Pros

Excellent co-workers, "limitless" income

Cons

Poor management, lack of stability, tough industry
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Go in with your eyes wide open

There are two types of insurance companies - ones like NM which are 100% commissionable and require you to work many hours and provide your own leads and network (family, friends, etc.) and provide support and accountability and ones that make their money off of the leads you have to buy and don't require you to do much of anything. NM can be very fulfilling and lucrative, but you have to be right and ready for the job. You have to have a natural market. You have to be willing to work long hours. You have to be coachable. And you have to have the ability to live not making much money at the start.

Pros

Excellent training and support. Ability to make a lot of money.

Cons

100% commissions, long hours, bring your own market
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Over all

Good company to work for, high performance is expected. Know going in you will achieve success if you work hard. If you do not put in the time and effort. You will not last long.

Pros

Great compensation and great people

Cons

High pressure sales, high expectations
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Hard work for big earnings

Not for the young professional with no personal plan for life insurance, although your title includes finance, your job will be sales. It will be a good while before money rolls in, unless you exploit family and friends to buy into your services.

Pros

Free lunches, good people, good resources

Cons

No breaks, massive amount of cold calling, commission only pay
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Don't work here - Not worth it and they take advantage of you

Northwestern Mutual promises no salary cap, appealing commissions, flexible hours and great products but they just make you push whole life insurance and disability insurance the whole time. The sales training you get is how to call people and read off of the scripts they give you so you can do "joint-work" with a veteran rep and split commission. Very minimal done in terms of "financial advising". In short: Overpriced product, just life insurance, they take advantage of you and will make money off of you regardless if you stay or go and they couldn't care less.They will charge you for everything possible if you leave(they intentionally don't fire you so they can charge you when you quit) and if any policy you had and gave to them when you left cancels/reverses then you have to pay them back your commission even after quitting (anything from a year back). I quit a few months ago and still owe thousands of dollars to them because of this. Advisors are very fake and disingenuous as are the Managing Directors and partners. Very high turnover rate and low satisfaction. I was hired with a group of 20, only 3 or 4 still work there after 6 months. If you don't have conviction in selling whole life insurance then don't do this job. They don't give you leads so you have to approach your friends and family.

Pros

Sales training (mostly just life insurance), Flexible

Cons

Minimal training in actual advising, No leads, no benefits, you're just pushing life insurance
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Hard, competitive, life changing

Like many things in life, you get what you put into it. You have to put in more than 40hours a week to be successful in this career. Definition of a sales job. Calling people and meeting people nonstop or your business will fail. First-year pay is great with bonuses but it is 100% commission unless you are an associate(hourly/salary). The retention rate is really low in my office but is a competitive and fun atmosphere. If you make it past year 3 you normally are in good shape to be an advisor.

Pros

Get pay, culture

Cons

Stress, long hours
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Only works if you have a rich network

I worked at NWM for over a year and I should have just taken the signing bonus and ran like EVERYONE else in my training class. The turnover is insanely high. Of the 14 people in my training class I was the last one left after a year and realized I should have left when my peers did after I wasn’t going to be able to pay my rent due to NWM not having any base pay. So if you aren’t constantly convincing your friends and family to increase their monthly insurance premiums, then you’re out of luck. I saw it work for people who had parents that were already multimillionaires and had a wide network of wealthy friends to take advantage of but other than that it was only lots of people going broke.

Pros

Make your own schedule

Cons

No salary, weak support, felt like a pyramid scheme
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High stress sales job with no guaranteed income.

This job is 100% commission and you are asked to start by only reaching out to people you know for financial services. It can put a stress on personal relationships and you should absolutely not take this job unless you are willing to make very little money for a few years.

Pros

You make your own schedule.

Cons

No benefits, no stability, high stress
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They will build you up and eat you alive

I have never worked in an environment that watches the big fish get bigger by swallowing all the small fish. You bring a list of 250 people you know and start calling them all on day 1 to do their financial planning and all of your income is based off of life insurance sales. Term insurance pays you peanuts and NM forces their Permanent insurance as a financial tool.
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Lucrative pay but management and training was a problem

Pays extremely well. You put in what you get out. Extremely competitive but if you don't learn quick your out. If you go against grain your out. Very high turnover rate
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Excellent culture and work atmosphere.

You have the ability to be in business for yourself, without being by yourself. You also have not limit on your income potential. You are in control of your time and your work effort will help determine your compensation.
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They sell you the dream, not the reality

In the beginning you work very long hours if you want to be successful, and the contract pays well in the first few years, but decreases each year after the first year until you get to about 50% commission. it is 100% commission, so make sure you have a lot of money set aside before you choose to do this career. The flexibility and benefits are good, full health insurance and pension/retirement (although it takes years to be even partially vested). Northwestern Mutual as a company is great -- strong financial stability, security, etc, but the culture within their system for women and POC is horrible. The management in my particular location/agency was absolutely heinous. They say they value diversity and inclusion, but the moment you don't "fit in" they make you an outsider. The company has a lot of work to do if they want to truly make it feel like a safe space for minorities to work in. The good definitely does not outweigh the bad.
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Be Careful!

They promise you the world and when they squeeze every contact you have, you're done. If you still decide to do this, make sure you have at least a years worth of expenses saved up because it is purely commission. At times I found myself selling unnecessary products just to have money come in to cover expenses for the month.
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Great Company

This really is the best investment/advisor/insurance company to work for or work with. They are the best company out there and are consistently beating all the others.
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Tough Environment

Working at Northwestern Mutual is rewarding but tough. They offer competitive compensation that is commission only. However, the management and leadership is lackluster at best. A military approach is taken to the training, development and coaching. You are selling life insurance at the end of the day. The other life insurance salesmen are great to be around, however growth is hard to find at Northwestern Mutual.
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Good company culture, hard to stay in the industry

Only compensated through people you personally bring to the firm and purchase products. Very hard to get started but can turn into a good career. Great company culture but no immediate compensation.
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Great work environment.

You are you're own boss. Don't expect handouts. You work for your keep. There is no salary. Full commission. If you have the market, it is a great place to be.

Pros

Opportunity

Cons

Zero help.
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Overall rating

3.8

Based on 3,614 reviews
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3.7Work/Life Balance
3.3Compensation/Benefits
3.2Job Security/Advancement
3.6Management
3.7Culture

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