Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Actuary Fined For Excessive Email Signature

Nobody disputes that actuarial credentials are hard earned and that a certain degree of pride is warranted. Yet, recently a local actuary had to defend his stream of letters when the company assessed a fine for the extra cost of data storage in email.

He had listed the following designations after his name: FSA, MAAA, CERA, CFA, CPA, BFF, WYSIWYG, LOL, ETC.

The company argued that on emails, only a first and last name is necessary, and occasionally a middle initial. For every email the actuary sends and gets a reply from, the company has to fork over the extra cost of storing those bytes of data. This, over time, can amount to hundreds of dollars.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Smart Phone Passes Exam P/1

A local actuarial student made a startling discovery after exiting the exam center during the most recent administration of Computer Based Testing.

"I was leaving the exam center and the proctor gave me two print outs, one for me, and one for my phone."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Actuary Unable To Do Basic Math Without Excel

“I never saw this coming.” An actuary, who will just be referred to as Mr. X, lamented.
He was planning to assist his 8-year-old granddaughter with her math homework.  The topic was division.  Mr. X had no idea how to do it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Zen of a Cluttered Desk - Opinion

There are two types of people in this world, those with surgically sterile cubicles and those that have cubicles that could pass for small landfills.  I’m writing on behalf of those of us who have the type of desk (or office if applicable) that would make our mothers cringe.

Actuary Discovers Hidden Code in Annuity Prospectus, Wins Lotto

A routine review of annuity product disclosers quickly became much more when an actuary stumbled upon a strange pattern of word and number combinations.

Actuaries Engineer Anti-Social Media

The proliferation of Facebook masks a simple truth.   Some people are and always will be anti-social.  It is against their nature to publish their lives, to paste their pictures on a virtual space, to describe their thoughts in 140 character snippets.
Most prominent among this crowd are actuaries.  In response to the social media, they have developed several new websites under the umbrella Anti-Social Media.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Party Like an Actuary - Opinion

In my last piece, I talked about how sex appeal is never the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks of actuaries, when in reality it’s been there all along. The other thing that we tend to hide from the world is our propensity to throw excellent parties.

Actuaries Force Lumberjacks to Refresh Image

Actuaries came in number 1 in the CareerCast.com ranking of 200 jobs, snug right between a Software Engineer and an HR Manager.  Lumberjacks came in last.
In an effort to change their image, lumberjacks across the country have traded in their flannel shirts and beards for polos and clean shaves.

SOA Plans New Exam Track - Anything That Deals With Insurance

Recently the SOA released news that it would offer a General Insurance track.  While this in itself is groundbreaking news, it overshadows an even more aggressive agenda of expansion that’s in the works.
Sources close to the inner working of the society indicate an even broader track with the minimal requirement that it some way ‘deals with insurance’.  Candidates that successfully complete this track would get their DWI certificate.
Possible syllabus items include:
p         Animals and Insurance:  How to Pick a Mascot/Logo/Spokes-creature for your company
p         Things that start with i
p         Material from other professions (CPA, CFA, Medical Boards, JD)
p         Some semi-professional exams – Bartending Certification,  Class A Drivers Test , etc
Candidates will also have to demonstrate mastery of sports trivia, pop culture, the game of Monopoly, and select passages from the sacred texts of most world religions.
 There was some slight confusion over a connect-the-dots and color-by- number placemat from a local dining establishment.  It turned out that it wasn’t part of the proposed material, but was accidently placed there after the committee leader took his family out for Friday night dinner.
The SOA hopes to give out several hundred DWIs over the next few years.

Blue Book To Change Color

Driven by a combination of regulatory changes, updated technology, and Kermit the Frog’s Rainbow Connection, Ameriprise Financial leaders have proposed a radical change to annual reporting.
Currently they are evaluating a series of colors for the next few years, including daffodil yellow, sunny peach, hunter green, and cotton candy pink.                 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sexy and We Know it -Opinion

Our occupation may not be as glamorous as a rock star, as heroic as a firefighter, or as honorable as a teacher, but don't tell me actuaries aren't sexy.
I’ll admit that we may never make a top ten list of sexiest careers, but the point I want to make is that the sex appeal for actuaries is at least greater than zero.

Actuarial Students Combat Diversions and Distraction

With exams a mere month away, every study hour is as crucial as it is tedious.
No one anticipated that summer would start three months early. 
For sports fans, March Madness is hard to ignore, the NBA and NHL are inching toward playoffs, and baseball’s season opener is close enough to taste.  (It tastes like hotdogs.)

For non-sports fans, various TV shows like Dancing With the Stars are just beginning and new movies, like The Hunger Games, are being released.

Additionally, there are holidays like Easter and St. Patrick’s Day which require certain celebrations. Furthermore, study time tends to lend itself to other neglected duties like house cleaning or car washing.

While students spend enormous amounts of energy staying focused and avoiding the said diversions, there is one other distraction that they thwart effortlessly – work

Friday, January 20, 2012

Scenario 242 Sucks

It is normal in the course of setting capital requirements and evaluating asset adequacy for actuaries to identify troubling scenarios.  The present value of the worst accumulated deficiency is a notorious reporting value.
What most actuaries don’t know is what exactly generates such poor performance.  Sure equities drop, or interest rates behave adversely, but there are other more troubling items that aren’t immediately apparent.  Take, for example, the most recent C3P2 results. 

It turns out that scenario 242 wreaks havoc on the annuity block.  But what is driving this?