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 Questions about Actuaries

What is an actuary?

The official answer that uses expensive words is "a professional that evaluates the current financial consequence of contingent future events".  Blah!  Blah!  A shorter and simpler definition, albeit somewhat limiting is, "Actuaries use statistics and other math in insurance applications."

How many kinds of actuaries are there? 

3 kinds -- those who can count, and those who can't!   Ha!

Actually, it depends on what you're looking at.  If considering practice areas, there are property/casualty actuaries (such as at EAS), life/health actuaries, and pension actuaries.  There are probably others as well.  If measuring by type of employment, most actuaries work as employees of insurance companies, but many work as consultants, for governments, and for industry.

For more information regarding this and the prior question, go to www.beanactuary.org.

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Questions about EAS

What is your cost structure?

In general, EAS performs services based on the time spent at an agreed hourly fee plus expenses incurred.  For many assignments, a not-to-exceed cost estimate is provided.  For certain assignments, especially those performed regularly such as year-end reserve evaluations, a fixed fee cost structure is used. 

Why don't you charge for each call like other consultants do?

Especially for fixed fee assignments, EAS encourages a continuous dialog with clients by not charging for calls or occasional visits.  This approach was adopted at the recommendation of a client that disliked the experience of hesitating to contact consultants it hired since he knew that he'd be charged for the call.  Thus, to enhance communication and participation, EAS welcomes phone calls and the opportunity to meet with its clients at no extra charge.  The collegial and collaborative result is a positive one for each party, as the client has better access to its consultants, and EAS can better serve as a member of the client's team.

I hear you have an unusual schedule, so what's the best time to contact you?

Yeah, EAS' owner, Jon Michelson, does have an unusual schedule, often working until well past 6pm and sometimes past 6am.  However, his schedule is not fixed -- being as likely to be working at 9am as 9pm.  So, the best time to contact EAS is well, always.  Contact EAS anytime 24 / 7 / 365.  Chances are good that you'll get a response immediately and certainly within the day.

What's with all the travel pictures?

Many of the pages, including this website's header, have travel pictures.  What do they have to do with actuarial work?  Not much really.  They just make the website look nice.  They're among those collected over the last 20 years.  For more information and more pictures, see Pictures.

Expert Actuarial Services, LLC -- (636) 393-8020

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