Risk Agents

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The lowdown :
An actuary is an expert who applies statistical and mathematical methods to assess financial and other risks relating to various contingent events such as mortality, sickness, injury, retirement and property loss from theft, accident, fire or any other hazard. An actuary uses data analysis for valuation of financial products in the field of insurance, retirement and other employee benefits, investments, etc. Since contingent events by their very nature are hard to accurately predict, an actuary is also entrusted with the responsibility to ensure security of policyholders. S/he does that by ensuring the company is maintaining adequate financial resources so as to withstand higher than expected claims. The actuary designs insurance and pension plans, determines insurance premium rates and contract provisions for each type of policy offered. S/he also creates new and attractive policies for organisation’s growth.

Clockwork :
9.30am: Reach office
11am: Assign work to the team
11.30am: Analyse risks
3pm: Meet clients
4.30pm: Review meeting with junior colleagues
5pm: Write reports
6.30pm: Call it a day

The payoff
At entry level one’s income could be Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh per annum. After gaining experience of five to six years and clearing a good number of the possible 15 papers, an actuary can earn Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh per annum. Immediately after becoming a fellow of Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI) one can earn anything from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh per annum.

Skills/Traits :
* In-depth knowledge of statistics
* A good head for mathematics

Getting there
Begins by joining the Insitute of Actuaries of India as a student member for which one needs to clear an actuarial common entrance test. This exam is conducted twice a year. Visit http://www.actuariesindia.org/acet.html for more details. The candidate must have passed class 12 exam or an equivalent exam with English as one of the subjects at class 12 level. After becoming a student member one needs to take upto 15 actuarial exams. Also, one should be a member of a professional body like the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

Institutes and URLs
* Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirappalli
* CMD School of Insurance & Actuarial Sciences, Uttar Pradesh
* Insurance Institute of India, Mumbai
* RNIS College of Insurance, New Delhi

Pros and cons
* Requires dedicated self-study
* The course is very specialised

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