Today I received some interesting information on United First Financial, the company selling the $3,500 Money Merge Account. Here is a listing of all UFF agents (warning: large file download), showing that there are 59,703 agents on the rolls.

The fee to sign up as an agent is $175. Multiply that by 59,703 agents, and you see that the company has brought in over $10.4 million just in agent fees. Not a bad payday just for allowing people to sell overpriced, ineffective software.

And how many sales is each UFF agent making? The company’s agents have cited a number of different figures for UFF customers. The numbers have ranged from 90,000 to 120,000, with the most common estimates around 100,000. Let’s give the company the benefit of the doubt and suppose that there are 120,000 people using the product.

Assuming most of the almost 60,000 agents use it themselves, that means on average, they have each made one sale to a legitimate third party customer. So this life changing opportunity, on average will give the agents a chance to make one sale. Sure there are some agents who have sold to many more customers that. Which also means that there are many agents who have never  sold the MMA software to even one customer.

But then we get to the even more important issue of how much money the UFF agents are actually making from selling the MMA software. The company pays out up to $2,500 on each sale of the software.

An “associate” who doesn’t have recruits or sales to qualify to move up the pyramid receives $450 on each of her or his first two sales. From the third sale on, it’s $900 per sale.

So the average UFF agent has made one sale and received gross income of $450, minus the broker fee of $175, minus all other expenses to promote the “business.” I would guess that on average, each average UFF agent with that average one sale, has not made any money after you consider all the expenses they’ve incurred.

Do you suppose that UFF pays out only $450 on the first two sales because they know that so many agents will make only one sale to an outside customer in all likelihood? The company automatically saves $450 in commission on each of those sales, for a total saved of $900. If even 1/4 of the estimated 120,000 users of UFF were sold by a “new” agent, the company has just saved $13.5 million by paying a reduced commission.

Let’s take a look at the commissions as a whole… In a typical MLM company, 70% of the commissions paid will go to the top 1% of the pyramid. That leaves 30% for the bottom 99% of sales people.

If the payouts in UFF followed this pattern, they would look like this:

Maximum commission pool = $2,500 x 120,000 customers = $300 million

(This assumes the maximum payout of $2,500 is made on each sale, which is not the case. However, I’m using the maximum figure to give UFF the benefit of the doubt when calculating commissions.)

Top 1% of agents = 597 agents

70% of commission payout = $210 million

Average payout per agent for top 1% = $354,759

– – – – – – – –

Remaining agents = 59,106

Remaining commission payout = $90 million

Average payout per remaining agent = $1,523 (Although this looks a little deceiving because there are so many agent who have made no sales or one sale, which would give them a payout of $0 to $450.)

Now remember that these numbers are the best case scenario, and if less than the maximum $2,500 is paid out on sales (and in all likelihood there are many of these sales), then the payouts for the bottom 99% of agents are much lower. (And of course, all the agents who have sold nothing have been paid nothing.)

United First Financial receives the same criticism from me that all other MLMs I’ve reviewed has: Almost no one is making any money. Of those who are, there are very few who could actually make a living from this. Don’t fall for the sales pitch on the business opportunity.

Oh…. And if you’re considering buying the MMA software and you haven’t read the rest of this blog, here’s a summary of my criticisms UFF:

  • The program is expensive – It costs $3,500 to access the software, which is little more than a fancy budgeting tool. Most consumers would get better budgeting help from a free program like Quicken Online. And the part of the program used to pay off your mortgage? Not worth the money, as discussed below.
  • The process is expensive – You’re advised to use funds from a home equity line of credit to pay down your regular mortgage. The interest rate on the HELOC is almost always higher than the rate on your regular mortgage, which means this costs you money and offers no benefit.
  • It’s time consuming – You could spend under one minute a month getting better results than UFF, by sending in an extra mortgage payment each month. Instead, the UFF MMA has you spend a couple hours each month entering data and moving funds, with no benefit.
  • Any savings from the MMA process are negligible – The big selling point of the MMA is how it uses a complicated algorithm to help you move your money and earn interest on your paycheck. The money saved/earned from this money shuffle is so small, that it doesn’t even recover the cost of the program for you.


  1. Craig Hansen 11/30/2008 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    This list checks out against every agent name and number I’ve seen. That UFirst has sold approximately only twice the number of accounts as the number of agents recruited, and have failed to make any headway in mainstream reviews (outside of mini-publications like “True Wealth”), shows just how poor the product really is. Half the clients are bilked of $3500, plus $175 to become agents themselves. A good number are then hit up for $300 for a years hosting of their UFirst-branded website, and they’ll be lucky to make a single sale.

    For a system that supposedly helps you get out of debt, it is much better at digging you a deeper hole.

  2. […] and proceeded to include that in the projections. As Tracy Coenen offers on her Fraud Files blog, United First Financial broker numbers and earnings, the number of sales of MMA is barely twice the number of agents, so each agent has an average of […]

  3. person 07/16/2009 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    this list has agents only, not clients. If each agent has 1 client (themselves) and maybe sells one account to one person, that means there is more than 100,000 clients using the Money Merge account.

  4. Craig Hansen 07/20/2009 at 6:06 am - Reply

    From what I understand, you’re not off by an order of magnitude, but you’re probably a little high. You don’t need to buy the MMA to sell it, and many agents I’ve come across are too smart to buy it, but just devious enough to sell it.

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