Northwestern Mutual financial advisors: what are the pros and cons?

1 min readLast updated January 24, 2024by Unbiased team

Discover what Northwestern Mutual offers, its fees and commissions, and how this financial services company looks after its clients.


  • Northwestern Mutual is a well-established and financially stable financial services company. 

  • Their primary focus is insurance, but they offer other financial products and services. 

  • Northwestern Mutual financial representatives are compensated through fees and commissions. 

Northwestern Mutual: who are they? 

Northwestern Mutual is a Milwaukee-based financial services company established in 1857.  

It is one of the US's oldest and largest life insurance providers but also offers other financial services and products.  

Find out more about Northwestern Mutual investment services and what’s on offer here. 

What does Northwestern Mutual do? 

Northwestern Mutual is a mutually structured financial services company that offers various products and services.  

Broadly speaking, they offer life insurance, disability income insurance, long-term care insurance, annuities, investment products, financial planning, and real estate planning. Northwestern Mutual’s services aim to help individuals and businesses achieve their financial goals through personalized plans.  

What are the pros and cons of Northwestern Mutual? 

Northwestern Mutual has pros and cons, as with any company offering insurance policies and financial services. However, it's important to note that the perception of pros and cons will vary according to individual preferences, financial goals, and needs. 

Some of Northwestern Mutual's pros and cons are summarized below: 


  • Financial stability: Northwestern Mutual is known for its financial stability and strength due to its conservative business practices and prudent investment strategies. This allows the company to meet its obligations consistently. 

  • Comprehensive financial services: The company provides a wide range of financial products, allowing clients to meet their financial needs through a single institution. 

  • Mutual structure: Northwestern Mutual is a mutual company, which means policyholders are considered owners and can receive dividends based on the company's performance. 

  • Personalized financial planning: Northwestern Mutual financial advisors collaborate with clients to develop personalized financial plans. This emphasis on bespoke advice assists individuals and businesses in navigating their unique financial situations and objectives. 


  • Cost of insurance: Some critics contend that Northwestern Mutual's life insurance policies may be relatively more expensive when compared to similar options on the market. Clients should carefully weigh up Northwestern Mutual's fees and the benefits provided. 

  • Limited investment options: Northwestern Mutual does provide some insurance products, but some investors may feel the range of their available investment options is more restricted than other financial institutions or investment firms. This might be a disadvantage for people looking for broader investment choices. 

  • Dependency on financial representatives: The experience and quality of advice may depend on the skills and dedication of Northwestern Mutual financial advisors. 

  • Complexity of products: Understanding the terms and conditions of Northwestern Mutual's complex financial products – particularly insurance and investment policies, may be challenging for clients without the help of a knowledgeable representative. 

Northwestern Mutual: financial services 

Aside from life insurance, Northwestern Mutual's range of offerings include the following financial products and services:

  • Disability income insurance 

  • Long-term care insurance 

  • Annuities 

  • Investment products 

  • Financial planning and advisory services 

  • Estate planning 

Northwestern Mutual: fees and commissions 

Northwestern Mutual fees and commission structure varies according to the specific financial products and services. The company uses a commission-based compensation model for its financial representatives, particularly in selling insurance products.  

The below summarizes these structures according to product type, but it's important to note these are subject to change: 

  • Insurance products: Financial representatives typically earn front-loaded commissions on policyholder premiums. 

  • Investment products: Products like mutual funds and annuities have associated fees, including management or administrative costs. Financial representatives may earn a commission. 

  • Financial planning services: The compensation structure may vary between fees and commissions. 

  • Advisory fees: Financial representatives acting as Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) may charge a fee according to a percentage of assets under management (AUM). 

Northwestern Mutual: technology 

Northwestern Mutual is known for continuously investing in technology upgrades to meet the needs of its clients while enhancing its services. This includes: 

  • Digital platforms: They have developed digital interfaces to provide clients with online access to their policies, accounts, and financial information. 

  • Online account management: Clients can use Northwestern Mutual's self-service online tools to manage their accounts, make premium payments, and access policy information. 

  • Financial planning tools: These include budgeting calculators, retirement planning modules, and other interactive features. 

  • Communication channels: Communication channels include email, secure messaging, and online chat options. 

  • Data security: Northwestern Mutual’s technology uses robust security measures to protect client data. 

  • Technology for financial representatives: Financial representatives for the company use specific tools to streamline their work, manage client relationships, and access relevant information. 

Northwestern Mutual security: is it secure? 

Northwestern Mutual prioritizes security to protect clients' financial information. They use encryption, authentication, secure data storage, compliance, regular security audits, client education, and fraud prevention measures.  

To get the latest information on their security practices, visit their official website or contact their customer support.  

Northwestern Mutual: customer service 

Northwestern Mutual's customer service has an excellent reputation and is known for offering a personal touch.  

The company provides the representatives with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, allowing them to offer tailored financial planning, accessibility through various channels, educational resources, efficient claims processing, and customer support. 

Seek expert financial advice 

Northwestern Mutual is a financial services company offering various financial products and services. The company focuses primarily on insurance policies but also offers its clients other financial products and services. 

To learn more about finances and receive expert financial advice, let Unbiased match you with an SEC-regulated financial advisor.  


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.