AboutPeopleEventsThe Actuarial WattContactJoin
Asset 2
Presents
sas_logo_newsletter

November 2019 Edition

Editor

Fraser Albiston

Designer

Fraser Albiston

Articles
Editors letter

Is tax falling behind?

With a rise in popularity of purchases made online, multinational companies are able to legally reduce the amount of tax they have to pay. But what impact does this have on local businesses and the Government?

Written by Brogan Howe.

2 minute read.

Automatic Enrolment

Automatic Enrolment has granted individuals across all demographics the opportunity to build up retirement benefits that they might not otherwise have signed up to contribute to.

Written by Lewis Currie.

2 minute read.

Insurance made easy

Technology has come a long way with no sign of stopping soon. How can insurers use this to keep up to date with an ever-changing world and provide the best service to the public.

Written by Riddhi Lakhotiya.

2 minute read.

Rising Temperatures and Rising Prices

How does climate change affect the insurance industry?

Written by Paarisha Emilie.

2 minute read.

Well hello again and welcome back to another edition of the Actuarial Watt! And yes, we are keeping with two editions each semester…so far.

As some of you may know, project season is hitting students hard as most 4th year students are busy with 3 projects on the go at the same time (hopefully not just me). 3rd year students have had their portfolio theory and stochastic projects to deal with, but it could be worse… at least the 2nd stochastic project is no longer a 48-hour caffeine-fuelled bonanza this year.

So, what other things have we been up to? Well, we held a lecture on how to tackle coding problems by your friendly neighbourhood Amit which I heard was a sell-out event! We also had a career talks from the IMA, an internship talk and not one but two industrial placement talks! You can’t say we aren’t good to you.

In terms of fun stuff happening, you should hear about the details for the Christmas dinner soon (if you haven’t heard about it before picking this newsletter up) so that’s one thing to be excited for.

But anyway, let’s start talking about the articles on offer. For this edition we are mixing it up and have 4 very interesting articles to share with you. With more and more people choosing to do their shopping online, large companies that focus on E-commerce can capitalize on our new purchasing preferences. However, how responsible are these large companies when it comes to declaring how much tax they pay? Brogan Howe discusses this issue and its impact on other businesses and the government.

More onto the topic of responsibility, in the world of work, it is the responsibility of employees and their employers to think about saving for retirement, (any 4th year taking Pensions will hear a lot about this). With the introduction of the Automatic Enrolment regulation, there are more opportunities for those who are eligible to start saving. Lewis Currie investigates this and the impact it is having in the UK.

Automatic Enrolment is much easier to incorporate due to advances in modern computer systems and other technologies. Riddhi Lakhotiya explains how technology has changed throughout the years and how this has affected the insurance industry.

Aside from technology, climate change has also affected the insurance industry in recent years. With more and more people becoming aware of how humanity is affecting the planet and our climate, Paarisha Emilie explains what this means for the insurance industry and how climate change can have both a positive and negative financial impact for insurers.

That is all from me and if you have made it this far without getting too bored then well played. All that’s left to say is good luck with the rest of your studies, thank you for making it this far and enjoy the rest of the newsletter!

October 2019 Edition

Editor

Fraser Albiston

Designer

Fraser Albiston

Articles
Editors letter

An Actuarial Adventure

Many students will now be looking for graduate jobs or internships. Alistair reflects on his time in London working as a trainee actuary at PwC.

Written by Alistair Stewart.

2 minute read.

Why write for 'The Actuarial Watt'

I know what you're thinking: "I'm studying maths, I don't need to write words.” You can’t solely use Greek letters and math-sy symbols for everything. Until we're able to replace emails with telepathy and/or emoji, you’ll be using words for a long time.

Written by Amit Parekh.

4 minute read.

Recession Procession

Does the inverted yield curve suggest that we are guaranteed to fall into recession after that?

Written by Lewis Currie.

2 minute read.

Welcome to the October edition of the Actuarial Watt! I hope you have all had a great summer and that the first few weeks haven’t been too intense. Since it’s the start of the year, it’s also the start of a brand-new editor so please bear with me for a few weeks until I get the formula down.

The first four weeks have been quite busy for SAS so far. To name a few things that we’ve been up to, we have had our first ever cultural event with stalls from all around the world giving us a little taste of different traditions. The event was a huge success with everyonebeing able to try new foods (some were a lot sicklier than others-I’m looking at you, Scottish tablet), learn new phrases and even take part in a miniature ceilidh. We also held a very interesting talk from ex-president Ley Kuan Law who gave us an insight into the work involved in general insurance.

Now on to the newsletter, I have three amazing articles for you guys to read! The first article is from Alistair Stewart, a 4th year actuarial science student who is giving the rundown on what he has been up to during his first six months on the PwC Flying Start programme. The second article is by Amit Parekh who talks about why developing your writing skills is extremely important when it comes to preparing job applications for day-to-day work in the office. He also does a great job in selling the idea of joining the current affairs subcommittee so feel free to think about sending an application in after reading this newsletter! Our final article is by Lewis Currie who investigates the current inverted yield curves and how effective they are at predicting a recession.

Well I think I’ve rambled on enough so all that’s left to say is that I hope you enjoy reading the rest of my first newsletter and thank you for making it this far!

March 2019 Edition

Editor

Lauren Bailie

Articles
Editors letter

Is healthcare a human right?

Most of the UK tend to take our free public healthcare for granted, forgetting that just across the water medical services are a luxury few can afford. Should healthcare be viewed as a basic human right?

Written by Dhavhesh Balakrishnan.

2 minute read.

The future of cash

With the number of cashless transactions increasing year upon year, are we on the brink of binning our coins and notes for good?

Written by Fraser Albiston.

2 minute read.

The hidden costs of cancer

Unfortunately for the majority of us, cancer will hit very close to home, but what about the hidden costs of the disease? And what are insurance companies doing about it? Brogan Howe has the rundown.

Written by Brogan Howe.

2 minute read.

I hope you’re sitting down with your tissues at the ready because I’ve got some very upsetting news, this is in fact my last edition of the Actuarial Watt as editor (heart­breaking, I know). Don’t worry though, dry your tears, we’ve got a very exciting newsletter ahead!

First off Dhavhesh Balakrishnan discusses the pressing issue of universal healthcare in “Is Healthcare a human right?“. We delve into the pros and cons of private and public healthcare systems worldwide .

Paying for private healthcare can be incredibly expensive, but how are we going to pay? Cash, card, the marvel of Apple pay? Luckily Fraser Albiston has got the rundown on the longevity of physical money in “The Future of Cash”.

Talking of cash, many of us will have experienced some form of tie to the awful reality of cancer but most of us are unaware of the hidden costs. What can insurance companies do to help sufferers and their loved ones? Brogan Howe tells us how(e?) they’re coming to the rescue.

Despite the rumours, us actuarial science students don’t ACTUALLY spend 24/7 in the library. (I mean c’mon guys, it’s more like 23/6.) So what’s been going on? Well turns out we’ve been pretty busy since the last edition.

First off we had one of our flagship events , our annual SAS competition. The whole event ran like clockwork and its safe to say everyone benefited from the aforementioned arbitrage opportunity, with a non-zero probability of experience and fun for absolutely no cost at all! Trust us to sum up an event in true actuarial style.

After the raving success of the competition, we had our annual conference which was absolutely spectacular in every aspect (we’re really on a roll here, aren’t we?). Going by the wonderful feedback regarding the very interesting talks and superb professionalism of the event in general we must’ve done something right! Thank you to everyone who came along as well as everyone who put in an incredible amount of time and effort to produce such a wonderful event.

As always, if you’d like to write an article feel free to email me at leb3@hw.ac.uk. You can write about whatever sparks your interest, as long as it can be tied in to the financial industry. Best of luck with the end of semester and happy reading!

February 2019 Edition

Editor

Lauren Bailie

Articles
Editors letter

Financial Nightmare before Christmas

Could saying there's no need to panic when no one is panicking induce a panic?

Written by Ben O'Rourke.

4 minute read.

The Past, Present and Future of money

We can all agree that we've come along way from trading sheep and metal for necessities. But how has the idea of money evolved with us?

Written by Dhavhesh Balakrishnan.

4 minute read.

Homes under the hammer

Homes is where the heart is, but unfortunately more and more UK citizens are finding themselves without a house to call home, why is this and how will it impact the UK and its people?

Written by Fraser Albiston.

2 minute read.

So here it is, my first completely solo newsletter (can anyone else hear “All by Myself” playing or is that just me?). Hopefully the wonderful Amit doesn’t want my head on a stick once he sees the level of design in this newsletter, I promise I tried my best (and yes, to dissuade any confusion, I know I’m not funny).

Happy New Year! Okay I know it’s February but that was my first chance to formally wish you all a brilliant 2019. I hope you are all happy with your results (or in the case of third year, ecstatic that the beautiful laws of averaging exist- thank you for the reminder Jennie Hansen). Fingers crossed this semester will be just as (if not more) fun-filled than the last one, and don’t worry too much about that last point because SAS are here to help.

So, onto what we’ve all been waiting for, the actual newsletter. This edition dives deep into the current state of the financial world. First up we take a look at what’s been going on across the pond as Ben O’Rourke reports on the financial downturn that seemed to leave a lot of US citizens feeling like they were in deep water.

It seems the US is experiencing wave after wave of financial despair, but what about a new type of wave? And by that, I mean the influence of new wave currencies. How have we gone from trading lumps of precious metal for necessities to using up and coming currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum? Dhavhesh Balakrishnan explores how our perception of money has changed throughout the years.

With all these waves we’re going to need some form of shelter… that’s right, we’re delving into the current state of the housing market! Fraser Albiston gives us the latest insight into the reasons behind the shortage of roofs over UK citizens’ heads.

Don’t worry, I’ll stop the water themed dad humour now to tell you a little bit about what SAS have been doing thus far. This new semester has already started with a bang, and by that, I mean everyone’s favourite mystery themed SAS event – the bus tour! This year brought us two of the best juxtaposed stops in SAS Mystery Bus Tour history, firstly a very traditional old man pub in the backend of Galashiels and secondly a stunning creperie in Darlington that could have comfortably held 46 suited and booted wedding guests, as opposed to 46 utterly bewildered actuarial students in jeans and white t shirts. Having said that, credit to Callum Brown for giving us a taste of the potential actuarial lifestyle.

As well as speeding off to mystery locations, we also held an insightful talk by Alan Smith who gave us tips on how to portray our best selves when it comes to the nerve-wracking final hurdle that is the interview stage of internships and graduate job applications.

As always, if you’d like to write an article feel free to email me at leb3@hw.ac.uk. You can write about whatever sparks your interest, as long as it can be tied in to the financial industry.

Best of luck with the new semester and happy reading!

November 2018 Edition

Editors

Lauren Bailie

Stuart Mackay

Designer

Amit Parekh

Articles
Editors letter

Cracking portfolios under pressure

Stress testing is a method used to predict how portfolios will fare in a financial crisis; but how did it all begin and how will it evolve?

Written by Matthew Caton.

5 minute read.

The wonders of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence seems to be the way forward in our technology-driven world, but will this put the actuarial profession at risk?

Written by Brogan Howe.

2 minute read.

The magic behind the gamble

Actuaries could be trading their life tables for betting slips but how is this possible? Fraser Albiston provides us with a rundown on the wizardry behind the numbers.

Written by Fraser Albiston.

2 minute read.

Welcome to the November Edition of The Actuarial Watt! And yes, we did two this time.

Unless you’ve been under a rock (or are a first year), third years had their stochastic project and are eagerly awaiting the upcoming 48-hour Red Bull-fuelled bonanza. We’ve heard from second years that their project was loads of fun and that they’re looking forward to the next three years of R!

We held a (hopefully useful) lecture on how to code for dummies, ran by our head-dummy Amit. We assume it was great, but if it wasn’t, we tried. If you’re reading this, it’s too late to come along. Next time, go to your lecture to hear the shout outs or check your emails because Joanne puts a lot of effort into spamming you.

Fun stuff was also had at the Spontaneous Sherlock. We drank, we laughed, and we goss’d. But we don’t share xoxo. If you’re wondering about the Christmas dinner, we’re doing it again, but the time and place and everything else is yet to be determined. There’s lots to do but we have faith in our socials—there’s three of them! Then again, there’s two editors on the newsletter and you saw the last one.

Oh yeah, on to the newsletter part since it’s unlikely you stayed to read this. Related to the projects, I’m sure everyone can relate to the feeling of everything not working for some reason. It doesn’t matter what your solution is if it doesn’t work for every possible outcome. To start, we look at how banking has evolved to better test against a series of unfortunate events. The state of the world depends on it!

But with how things are going, the world will never be the same again, or so people say. Unlike climate change, the impact of AI on our lives is truly unconfirmed. Don’t worry, the world is probably not going to be a repeat of iRobot (but if it does, let’s hope Will Smith is around). The consensus of experts is that robots will help us be better in our daily tasks. We’ll be far more effective in our professions, which means spending more time and money on our loved ones because, as we know, money makes the world go around (note: round, not flat).

Just as the world is changing, the prism of possibilities for actuaries is expanding. Gone are the days of excel, pensions, and abacuses! In a brave new world, you can do what your heart desires. For many, that’s gambling. Word on street is that actuaries are trading their life tables for betting slips, gambling the day away.

We reveal all about what we do away from the sanctity of the library, and what’s up next before giving you the long awaited, ever-popular sudoku. (This one should be more difficult!)

If you want to join the team and put pen to paper to make words into magic to touch hearts and minds, email leb3@hw.ac.uk and write for us. As we demonstrate in this edition, it can be about whatever you want if it vaguely relates to the actuarial industry. If you really want to talk about the many, many undiscovered benefits of Brexit, go for it!

We bid farewell to Stuart Mackay, co-editor and ex-co-social director. When you start the new year with PwC, we just want to remind you of a few things: always check your work for typos and shocking grammar; a dinner course is only one meal, not three; and be sure to be at work for half-past 7 o’clock. Try not to get fired and always use protection (on your spreadsheets). We’ll miss you and your never-ending supply of ham rolls!

Good luck with your upcoming exams, have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, or Happy Holidays (whatever suits, we don’t judge).