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Thread: CAS 9, Fall 2008

  1. #1
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    Arrow CAS 9, Fall 2008

    I'm in after nailing down 6 last year - any other takers?
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
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    Fortunately made it past this one last year. Go knock it out!
    act justly. walk humbly. love mercy.

  3. #3
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    1. Do you have a suggested reading schedule? [I'm planning on starting with AAA and Bailey-Simon, the latter appears to be pretty straightforward.]

    2. Suggestions on study guides?

    3. How the '''' did this become a sticky?
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Blues View Post
    1. Do you have a suggested reading schedule? [I'm planning on starting with AAA and Bailey-Simon, the latter appears to be pretty straightforward.]

    2. Suggestions on study guides?

    3. How the '''' did this become a sticky?
    1. I mainly followed the reading schedule set by frank_exams here, though I completed my first pass through the articles at a much faster pace. Note that certain articles have been removed/added.

    2. I used All 10's study manual and attended the NEAS seminar. As usual, All 10 has its share of errors, but it contains past exam problems all the way back to the late 1990s for many papers and is adequate for preparation. I thought that Feldblum did a solid good job at the NEAS seminar; but, as is often stated, one will not gain much from Feldblum's seminars without having already made it through the entire syllabus and adequately prepared beforehand. Questions you must ask yourself before going into the seminar are: How much preparation have I done prior to the seminar? Do I know specific topics in which I am weak or in which I need further clarification? Have I made it through the entire syllabus? I strongly believe that his seminars most benefit those who have most prepared.

    3. Aren't you a moderator?

    If you have further questions, I will attempt to help.
    Last edited by .Godspeed.; May 22nd 2008 at 08:36 AM.
    act justly. walk humbly. love mercy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Blues View Post
    1. Do you have a suggested reading schedule? [I'm planning on starting with AAA and Bailey-Simon, the latter appears to be pretty straightforward.]

    2. Suggestions on study guides?

    3. How the '''' did this become a sticky?
    I made sticky as I thought it would be a good way to start discussion of CAS Exam 9.
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  6. #6
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    I'm in for 9 this time around.

    No ideas for study materials, seminars, and the like. Anyone used Infinite Actuary?

  7. #7
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    I never have, though I have coworkers who have and they like it. I'm going with CSM [those here in the office who took 9 last year said this was the way to go], and the office has a book of the NEAS notes from 2006 [I may get updated notes ... haven't decided yet].
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

  8. #8
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    So ... unless Kitara is definitely in, looks like I'm slogging this one myself again.

    If anyone is late to the party, here's what I've done so far:
    1. First pass through the material - I'm not through everything, but I'm getting there. My order:
    -- AAA [memorization, nothing more]
    -- Bailey and Simon [short paper, fairly simple - work problems and make sure you can get credibility for 0 years of claim-free experience]
    -- Lee 1 [this was tested in Exam 4, it's a simple paper but you must understand what he's doing here - if you can, it'll help for some problems on the exam]
    -- Venter [another short paper, sets up ideas for the next 2 on the list - don't worry about the formulas here, you'll see them elsewhere]
    -- Gillam [I took this one next, it piggybacks on Venter to an extent but is a setup for the Gillam-Snader papers]
    -- Gillam and Snader 1 [here's where you start writing down formulas - work problems here, get comfortable with this]
    -- Gillam and Snader 2 [retrospective rating; very dense, lots of work here - this will be a major part of the exam]
    -- Gillam and Snader 3 [haven't started into this yet, may get to it late this weekend]

    If you get bogged down, switch gears and go to McClenahan and Ferrari [both short, both somewhat simple - will have to work problems]. Robbin is a very detailed paper, I've skipped it so far. Roth, Mango, Kreps and Teng are supposed to be fairly straightforward, but I haven't gotten that far yet.

    Things to definitely skip early on: Cummins [probably not bad, but there's easier things to master right now] and Mahler's "shifting risk parameters" paper [same]. Anderson and Feldblum/Brosius aren't horrible - Anderson test questions will be conceptual in nature, and F/B questions may ask you to set up the equations and at most do one iteration ... not difficult papers, but again ... there's other things that are better tackled right now IMO.

    .Godspeed., any suggestions or comments to this would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Irish Blues; July 10th 2008 at 10:20 PM.
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

  9. #9
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    I'm in... Although still waiting on whether my company will pay for me to attend a seminar!

    I've already logged some study time, though - although this week was pretty rough!

  10. #10
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    I posted this on the Actuarial Outpost, so you may have already seen it, but I'll post it again here:

    Section A
    AAA: Ton of lists; free points if you know these

    Bailey/Simon: math is not that tricky, but don't miss the lists; again, these are free points if you know them

    Cummins: One can get lost in the excessively theoretical presentation. Minimum competency: be ready to draw, label, and explain any of the following four graphs: perfect information and classification; pooling equilibrium; Nash separating equilibrium; Wilson-subsidizing equilibrium. This might be enough.

    Mahler 1: I think this paper can be kind of confusing the first time through; know: binomial test, Two Methods for Testing Whether Risk Parameters Shift; six methods of selecting credibility weights; Three Criteria/Evaluation Methods to Decide Between Solutions

    Feldblum and Brosius: know well how to apply both multiplicative and additive models to any of the bias functions; also be prepared how to handle/setup combined models which involve both multiplicative and additive factors

    Anderson: fairly new paper; I would know the following: understanding how minimum bias procedures map to a GLM context (for example, Additive, balance principle in MB is Identity Link function, Normal Error function in GLM); failings of a one-way analysis and weaknesses of MB procedures; setting up a GLM similar to page 8 of the article; Classic Linear Model vs. GLM assumptions; the graph on page 15 of the article (another likely question similar to the Barnett/Zehnwirth graph question we got on 2006 Exam 6); steps to solving a GLM (bottom of page 24); definition of aliasing; definition of the three types of aliasing; and how we could resolve the problem of near-aliasing

    Section B
    Lee 1: not too bad, though its cousin (Lee 2) is much worse; size method vs. layer method; representation of ILF's derivative; Consistency test

    Miccolis: very important; understand how this relates to Lee 1; be comfortable w/ all types of scenarios involving ILFs (inflation; excess of loss contracts; risk-adjusted ILF; two types of consistency tests and anti-selection in Rosenberg discussion)

    Section C
    Walters and Morin: lot of lists throughout; beyond the basic computational questions, know how to calculate expected losses in a reinsurance layer (which has yet to be asked); return on surplus; risk margins; hurricane base rates when using an explicit CAT reinsurance cost

    Section D
    Ferrari: short read; don't want to miss any points here; I found his discussion of the "Actuarial Determination of the Optimum Capital Structure" toward the end very confusing, though; donít skip Balcarek's discussion, as knowing his somewhat confusing relationships can result in nearly free points

    McClenahan: again, ton of lists; free points if you know these; very little calculation

    Robbin: monster; you should be able to list advantages and disadvantages to all methods; know the mechanics of (nearly) all methods (I would be very surprised if a computational PVI/PVE question ever appeared); know five types of U/W profit; pay attention to distinctions between methods near end of this article

    Roth: know sources of risk; various versions of dS, net worth, and GAAP surplus; ton of small lists that could creep up; understand actual vs. required return on surplus (this concept can be somewhat confusing); know three statistics to evaluate insurers

    Feldblum: not fun; one of the most frustrating syllabus readings for me; understand subtlties between problems involving surplus allocated based on (1) P/S ratios, (2) R/S ratios where the R does NOT include UEPR, and (3) R/S ratios where the R does include UEPR; know types of insurance risks and other lists (definitely not all of them)

    Bault: know all assumptions and formulas in Krepsí framework of risk load framework (these are honestly not that bad after working several problems); discussion of leverage ratio approach vs. CAPM approach was very confusing to me, but it seems like that this could eventually be tested

    Mango: understand how Bault's paper relates; be able to handle Marginal Surplus, Marginal Variance, Shapley Value, and Covariance Share methods under both build-up and renewal; be able to explain how and why methods differ; understand renewal additivity

    Section E
    Venter: I always thought this paper was frustrating; several lists scattered throughout; understand how the modification formula changed throughout the years; be very familiar with current formula; understand very well the tests of plan performance

    Gillam: another somewhat frustrating read; again, several lists in beginning and middle of paper; understand well the off-balance concept and how it relates to premium level and rate adequacy; become familiar with calculation of plan parameters and various loss limitations

    Gillam and Snader 1: be very comfortable with (nearly) all formulas (I'm not sure how likely the three cases related to Perryman's First Formula would ever be tested); understand how this paper relates to both Venter and Gillam
    NCCI 1998: if you know well the changes made in the 1998 Adjustment to the Experience Rating Plan and the reasons for these changes, you should do well; understand how measures of plan performance covered in other readings (e.g., Venter) apply and relate

    NCCI WC Experience Rating Manual: most of this should look familiar after having read Gillam; understand well the various limitations (this can take a while) and the operation of the Appendix; there is a lot of minutiae, but don't lose focus here!

    ISO CGL Rating Manual: understand when to use which Appendix (this may initially be confusing considering that most exam questions test only one Appendix; don't mess this up); work problems many times; methodology is somewhat long but you can pick up about 4-5% of the test here

    I would say the following five papers are among the most challenging to master, but I think it's imperative that you understand how they relate:
    Brosius; Gillam and Snader 2; NCCI Retrospective Rating Manual; Lee 2; Skurnick + Discussion

    In my opinion, it is very difficult to discuss each individually since you really must understand one to truly understand another. Many people believe they understand these papers but are rudely awakened when working past exam questions and/or the real exam. There are tons of threads on these [on the Actuarial Outpost]; I would strongly encourage you to look through them (search by author and/or "Table M," "Table L," "This is crazy," etc.)


    Fischer: not too difficult (relative); but, again, due to its inclusion of both (1) a "modified" Table M and (2) the ICRLL procedure, you really need to understand the above five papers for this to really make sense

    Teng: very long formulas, but these will eventually become intuitive, and these should end up being free points on the test

    Gillam and Snader 3: maddening formulas; what makes these so frustrating is that the authors will use the same letters in different sections of the paper, but those same letters have very different meanings depending on the context; again, there are some good threads on this; if you practice hard, though, these should, too, become free points
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you have any questions, please let me know. I've probably forgotten a great deal, but am still willing to help.
    act justly. walk humbly. love mercy.

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