Monday, 15 March 2010

Actuarial Profession: Unemployment? Oversupply?

*Mr.Raymond Lai, Immediate Past President of Actuarial Society of Malaysia(ASM)* 

Wow, till now I couldn't believe that I have this precious opportunity to attend a talk in Inti College, Subang Jaya yesterday, and the title was "Actuarial Science: Unemployment? Oversupply? by Mr Raymond Lai, immediate past president of the Actuarial Society of Malaysia, Appointed Actuary by Bank Negara, and also Fellow of Societies of Actuary(FSA), US. What a long title, and I really really appreciate the talk by Mr Raymond Lai. I never thought that I would have this chance on meeting Mr Raymond, but after persuaded my mom of transporting me there for a few days, fortunately my mom gave me the green light and brought me to Inti College Subang Jaya in that afternoon. The talk started at 1.30pm and ended at 2.30pm, and the one hour time was really a unforgettable experience for me. For Mr Raymond Lai's path to be an actuary, he gained his Bachelor in Science (Mathematics) and self-studied for 20 actuarial professional papers from Society of Actuaries (SOA), US, at that time. After attended a lot of conferences, finally the SOA shorten their syllabus from 20 professional papers to 8 professional papers, until now.

At the talk, Mr Raymond told us about the definitions of actuary from various actuarial board all around the world, and only one word can simply describe what is an actuary. Actuary is mathematician / statistician / financial engineer. Besides, he also mentioned about the future of actuarial profession in Malaysia. The unemployment of actuary? Would actuaries be oversupply in future? Well, everything has been unearthed in that talk. As what he mentioned, when there is risk, there is opportunity, and that means actuary'd never be oversupplied nor unemployed. When there is risk, people'd seek advices and calculations from actuaries, to reduce the financial impact to the society, and secure financial security in future. Actuary need to collect statistics from the past, build actuarial models for future, and from there pricing the parcels. For now, there are only 64 qualified actuary in the Actuarial Society of Malaysia, and this job'd be definitely in high demand for the next decades, or perhaps millennium.

Besides, Mr Raymond mentioned that, when he started to study for actuarial exams, there were a lot of people who were studying for those professional papers too. But eventually, most of the actuarial students ventured into other professions, such as economics, finance, accounting and computer science. A lot of students didn't have a strong belief that they can succeed in this actuarial profession, and gradually changed their major into others. Actuarial students need a lot of hard works, persistences, determination and interest in studying for the actuarial exams. Despite some students may study extremely hard, it's quite common for those students to fail their exams. That sentence freaked me out, but I knew that long ago, and I knew that the main point here is just, keep on trying. No matter how many times of failing the exams, you just need to keep studying, maybe with different methods. Try to consult the lecturers, professors, seniors and friends. Once you know the techniques of passing the exams, nothing can cease you from passing these exams. The most difficult part is, would you have the courage to stand up again, after failing the exams for several times albeit you have studied so hard? If you have, go ahead with this profession. If you don't, stop it now and change to another major.

Everything Mr Raymond Lai said was very informative and inspiring. Oh, from the talk, I got to know about a specific and particular actuarial software as well called "Prophet", and one more professional risk body called The Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA). Although I might be afraid of not having enough courage to stand up again after failing in the exams, still I think that with every hard work and method, I would stand a fat chance to become a qualified actuary in future. After the talk ended at 2.30pm, I asked Mr Raymond Lai a few questions regarding actuarial science, and he did enlighten me on those questions, and I was really grateful and contented with the talk. Thanks, Mr. Raymond Lai!!! =)

Favourite Music! =)