More stress and strife are caused by financial troubles than almost any other type of issue. Debt is at an all-time high and people are working longer in life because they don’t have the retirement income they need to live.
Primerica regional vice president Chris Wallace wants to help people with their financial health from building a sturdy financial foundation to saving money for retirement or education for children. He is in the business of helping families and individuals achieve financial freedom.
“I’m not here to sell anything except hope and opportunity,” said Wallace.
As a local franchise owner, he owns and operates Primerica in the Sebago region and has seven part-time representatives who own and operate their own business in the financial services industry. Together they serve at least 3,000 clients from coast to coast.
Wallace has been with Primerica for 20 years. “It’s not a job. It’s a vocation – a calling. It’s the only place you get to decide who becomes your client,” he said. The street goes both ways. He interview clients to make sure that the relationship will be one that lasts a long time. Many of Wallace’s clients are dual income, married homeowners with kids. He takes pride that his youngest client turned one this week and his oldest client is in her nineties.
Primerica deals with comprehensive financial services. “We look at all the ways people make and spend money, everything that has to do with debt, protection and investments. More people are dealing with separate or multiple companies in those areas,” he said. “We are a one-stop financial house.” Primerica doesn’t manufacture or create any products or services. “We function as a matchmaker between our clients and companies.” Through this business model, Wallace and his team are able to match companies that have the best products for each client. Their goal is to do the right thing for the client.
“When we’re concerned about what’s right for the client and because we save them tons of money, clients refer us to lots of people,” Wallace said.
“I’d like to provide more financial wellness programs to businesses and to be an outlet and resource.” The number one reason for missed work for employees is dealing with their own financial issues, he said. Presently he goes into businesses and meets with the employees when they need him. Sometimes he finds products for them, and sometimes he helps them with debt restructuring or finding mutual funds for investing.
He is looking for businesses that would welcome him to come into their building two times a month or more often to be available for the employees.
“The reality is that we’re not all financially sound,” he said.
The relationship between clients and agents is based on knowing them, liking them, and trusting them, he said.
“I’m constantly looking for people looking for a career in financial services, who can start on a part time basis,” Wallace said. If the person has the right personality and the people skills, he can teach them everything else they need to know.
People who work for Primerica make money when matches are made between a company and a client. The companies pay them, usually a one-time fee, for bringing clients to them. The companies are required by law to pay the same amount for each type of product.
“My New Year’s wish is that I’d like to teach and train more people so we can help more people. The seven of us are only at 3,000. I’d like Windham to be the most financially literate city in the State of Maine.”
Wallace said that if someone is interested in what he does, he will chat with them for 30 minutes to see if it makes sense for them.
Sometimes people need help organizing their life financially and other times they may need a career in financial services.
Wallace or any of the agents from Primerica can work remotely from their iPads. “Ninty-nine percent of our business is knee cap to knee cap across the kitchen table in clients’ homes. Wallace gets to know his client’s values and beliefs before he talks about any numbers. “It’s a process, not an event,” he said. He looks at the whole picture and will only suggest changes to those things he can help with. Wallace looks at get out of debt instruments, insurance for auto, home, life, health and long term care, investment products from 529 plants to mutual funds.
“People will spend more time planning for their vacation, which is one time, than retirement which is the rest of their life,” Wallace said.
The Windham Primerica office is located at 48 Tandberg Trail. For more information on a career opportunity or for financial help, call 894-7746 or email Chris@pfsme.com.