Unbelievable Risk Discounts Rates

Setting discount rates is a crucial and subjective exercise. This is true for life insurance embedded values too. Many researchers are comfortable with a range for Equity Risk Premiums of between 3% and 5%. Many corporate finance practitioners use a range from 5% to 8% or even higher. My nearly eight-year-old blog post on mis-estimating […]

Ghosts of bullets dodged

I have never owned Steinhoff shares. I was surprised then, when going through some old blog uploads (dealing with a separate copyright issue that I may touch on in another post) to find this share price graph of Steinhoff from 2007 I don’t remember looking at this, but the blog entry was actually about insider […]

Downwards counterfactual analysis

Stress and scenario testing are important risk assessment tools.  They also provide useful ways to prepare in advance for adverse scenarios so that management doesn’t have to create everything from first principles when something similar occurs. But trying to imagine scenarios, particularly very severe scenarios, isn’t straightforward. We don’t have many examples of very extreme […]

Credit Life regulations and reactions (2)

In part 1 I discussed the implications of basing premiums on initial balance or declining balance for profitability and the threat of substitute policies. In this post I want to discuss substitute policies again, talk about cover for self-employed persons and definitions of waiting periods. What is a substitute policy Substitute policies are one of […]

SA85-90 “combined” and more actuarial sloppiness

I know of far too many actuaries who think that the “average” SA85/90 table is an appropriate base for their insured lives mortality assumption. It’s not. It’s also a good example of “actuarial sloppiness”. To be specific, it is equally inappropriate if your current experience is a reasonable fit for the combined SA85/90 table. SA85/90 […]