Actuarial Jokes

Who says actuaries don’t have a sense of humor?

Last modified Apr. 23, 2014. The latest joke is 189.

Thanks to all of you who have visited and contributed over the years.

Warning: I make no representation that these actuarial jokes are actually funny.


1. Actuary talking: “a. There are three kinds of actuaries. Those that
can count. And those that can’t.” (Attributed to Fred Kilbourne) b.
There are 10 kinds of actuaries, those who understand binary numbers and
those who don’t. Combining a and b: c. There are 11 kinds of actuaries,
those who can count with binary numbers and those who cannot.
(Attributed to Esko Kivisaari at d. There are two
kinds of actuaries: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data …
(Attributed to Darrel Chvoy at
2. An actuary is someone who wanted to be an accountant, but didn’t
have the personality for it.
3. An accountant is someone who wanted to be an actuary, but didn’t
have the personality for it.
4. An actuary is a place where they bury dead actors. (Submitted by
John Dinius at
5. Two people are flying in a hot air balloon and realize they are
lost. They see a man on the ground, so they navigate the balloon to
where they can speak to him. They yell to him, “Can you help us – we’re
lost.” The man on the ground replies, “You’re in a hot air balloon,
about two hundred feet off the ground.” One of the people in the balloon
replies to the man on the ground, “You must be an actuary. You gave us
information that is accurate, but completely useless.” (Attributed to
Fred Kilbourne at in the Journal of
on 4/21/78, and submitted by David Fountain at The actuary on the ground yells to the people in
the balloon, “you must be in marketing.” They yell back, “yes, how did
you know?” The actuary says,” well, you’re in the same situation you
were in before you talked to me, but now it’s my fault.” (This joke was
improved upon by both John Dinius and Stacey Haws at
6. Definition of a computer: An actuary with a heart.
7. Actuarial bumper stickers: a) Actuaries probably do it. b)
Actuaries do it with frequency and severity. c) Actuaries do it without
risk. (c submitted by Jeffery E. McGill at d)
Actuaries do it by integrating by parts. (d submitted by e) Actuaries do it continuously and discretely. (e
submitted by Larry Decker at f) Actuaries do it
until death or disability, whichever comes first. f sub 1) Actuaries due
it until death, disability or withdrawal. g) Actuaries do it with
varying rates of interest. (f and g submitted by Walt Lowrie at (f sub 1 submitted by Larry Tarini at h) Actuaries do it with models. (h submitted by
Paul Budde at i) Actuaries do it with reserve. j)
Actuaries do it with assurance. k) Actuaries do it with APL. (i, j and k
submitted by Cameron Brett at l)
Actuaries do it with professional guidance. (l submitted by Gerard
Farmar at m) Take a risk – marry an
actuary. (m seen by Philip Lew.) n) Actuaries make it come out right.
(n submitted by Jerry Enoch at o) Actuaries do it
after passing exams. (submitted by Eugene Korol at
8. Three men are sentenced to die by guillotine. The first man steps
up, places his head in the hole, the executioner release the knife, and
miraculously the knife stops inches above the man’s neck. The king says,
“Under the laws of our country, if the guillotine fails to do its job,
you are declared free.” So the first man gets up, relieved, and the
second man takes his place. Again, the guillotine knife stops inches
away from the man’s neck. The king says again, “Under the laws of our
country, if the guillotine fails to do its job, you are declared free.”
So the second man gets up, free. The third man, who is an actuary, puts
his head in the guillotine hole, looks up, and says, “I think I see what
the problem is … “
9. An actuary is someone who brings a fake bomb on a plane, because
that decreases the chances that there will be another bomb on the plane.
10. What is the difference between an introverted actuary and an
extroverted actuary? An introverted actuary stares at his own feet
during a conversation, while an extroverted one stares at the other
person’s feet. (Attributed to Al Beer; Submitted by Sue Scott at

11. Two actuaries are duck hunting. They see a duck in the air and
they both shoot. The first actuary’s shot is 20 feet wide to the left.
The second actuary’s shot is 20 feet wide to the right. The actuaries
give each other high fives, because on average they shot it. (Several
variations on this: golf shots; head in refrigerator and feet in oven;
12. An actuary is a person, who passes as an expert on the basis of a
prolific ability to produce an infinite variety of incomprehensive
figures calculated with micrometric precision from the vaguest of
assumptions based on debatable evidence from inconclusive data derived
by persons of questionable reliability for the sole purpose of confusing
an already hopelessly befuddled group of persons who never read the
statistics anyway! (Submitted by Kathleen Miller at
13. What did God say when he created Actuaries? He scratched his head
and said, “Go figure!” They took it literally… (Submitted by Jason
Nonis at
14. An actuary is someone who’d rather be completely wrong than
approximately right. (Submitted by Terry Alfuth at
15. Actuaries are people who skipped the first six grades of school
… when all the other kids were learning short words. (Submitted by
Terry Alfuth)
16. Actuaries like to have fun … when nobody is watching. (Submitted
by Terry Alfuth)
17. An actuary is flexible; he/she is either right, or can prove it to
be so. (Submitted by Terry Alfuth)
18. A lawyer, an accountant, and an actuary are arguing over whether
it is better to have a married spouse or an unmarried lover. The lawyer
says a lover because it’s legally easier to disentangle yourself from a
lover. The accountant says a spouse because you can get a tax deduction
with a spouse. The actuary says it’s better to have both because you can
lie to each of them, telling each of them that you’re with the other,
and then go to the office to do some work. (Submitted by Dave
19. Question: What do actuaries use as contraceptives? Answer: Their
personality; (Submitted by Steve Pummer at; This is
a low probability contingency and can be safely disregarded as a serious
liability to be underwritten. (Submitted by Mark Simon at
20. A consulting actuary is a person who, when asked what time it is,
tells you how to build a watch. (Submitted by Steve

21. A consulting actuary dies and is met at the Pearly Gates by St.
Peter and a crowd of well-wishers. St. Peter says, “Congratulations.
You’re the oldest person ever to come to these gates.” The consultant
says, “But I was only 50 when I died.” St. Peter replies, “Really? Your
billings indicate that you must be at least 140!” (Submitted by Steve
22. A group of lawyers and a group of actuaries are travelling by
train to conferences in the same city. The lawyers were surprised to see
that the actuaries had only bought one train ticket for the entire
group. When the conductor entered the front of the car, all of the
actuaries got up and went into the same bathroom. As the conductor went
down the aisle, the lawyers dutifully handed him their tickets. When he
came to the bathroom he said, “Ticket, please.” One ticket slid out, he
punched it, and went on his way.On the return trip home, the lawyers thought they’d try the same trick,
but this time they noticed the actuaries had not bought any train
tickets. As the conductor entered the front of the car, all of the
lawyers got up and went into the same bathroom. One of the actuaries
walked over to the bathroom, knocked on the door, and said, “Ticket,
please.” (Submitted by Steve Pummer)
23. And then there is the actuary who was so dull the other actuaries
noticed. (Submitted by Steve Pummer)
24. A patient was at her doctor’s office after undergoing a complete
physical exam. The doctor said, “I have some very grave news for you.
You only have six months to live.” The patient asked, “Oh doctor, what
should I do?” The doctor replied, “Marry an actuary.” “Will that make me
live longer?” asked the patient. “No,” said the doctor, “but it will
SEEM longer.” (Submitted by K.C. Winstead at
25. Actuarial bumper sticker: Old actuaries never die; they just get
broken down by age and sex. (Attributed to Bob Crompton; Submitted by
Bill Stanfield at;
they just lose their Faculties,
get Institutionalised, or drop out of their Society. (Submitted by
Gerard Farmar at; they just lose their
reserve. (Submitted by Bob Reuter at
26. An actuary, an underwriter, and an insurance salesperson are
riding in a car. The salesperson has his foot on the gas, the
underwriter has his foot on the brake, and the actuary is looking out
the back window telling them where to go. (Attributed to Fred
Kilbourne in The National Underwriter on 2/28/75, and submitted by
Jeff Courchene at The company president
is behind the wheel, squinting to see while looking through a
dust-covered windshield. (Source?) The claims person is on the roof
tossing out dollar bills. (Last sentence attributed to Rick
27. An actuary is someone who expects everyone to be dead on time.
(Submitted by
28. Definition of CPA: Can’t Pass Actuarial exams. (Submitted by Cuz
Maydak at Definition of CFA: Can’t Face Actuarial
29. In response to “How much is two plus two?”, a marketing VP will
say “22” (Submitted by John at; an accountant
will say “4.00”; a mathematician will say “I can demonstrate it equals 4
with the following proof … “; an actuary will ask “What do you want it
to equal?” (Submitted by Carl Malmquist at; a
lawyer will say “it’s 4, but with charges it’s 12.” (Anonymous); another
marketing VP will say “it depends – are you a buyer or a seller?
(Submitted by Finlay Marshall at
30. What is the difference between God and an actuary? God doesn’t
think He’s an actuary. (Submitted by R.P.)

31. A casualty actuary priced an automobile “Fire and Theft” policy
with an extremely low premium. When asked why it was so cheap, he said,
“Who would steal a burnt car?” (Submitted by Rod Wilton at
32. A life actuary designed a new coverage “Senility Insurance”. He
expected low claims because “If you remember that you have a policy, it
is proof that you are not senile.” (Submitted by Rod Wilton)
33. Question: Why did the metalhead (i.e., someone who listens to
heavy metal music) want to become an actuary? Answer: He wanted to get
paid to predict death and destruction. (Submitted by Mattison Narramore
at and
34. Question: How many actuaries does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: a) How many did it take last year? (Submitted by Steve
Mildenhall at b) How many do you want it to
take? c) None, after credibility weighting, we have indications that the
bulb is still lit. d) None, the insurance department is not allowing any
modifications to the bulb at this time. e) Have any of our competitors
changed bulbs yet? (b through e submitted by Pip) f) None, they prefer
to leave us in the dark. (submitted by kevin.moorhouse at ) g) Five: one to screw it in, and four more
to estimate the length of its life before being screwed in. h) The same
number that it took last year, adjusted for trending. i) Two- The Senior
Actuary presents the proposal to Managment and the Junior actuary does
the work. j) One- But he/she has to do battle first with Sales and
Marketing over the issue. k) One- But first, it takes ten years to pass
the exams. (h through k submitted by Ed Baum at l)There’s insufficient data to reach a firm
conclusion. (submitted by Robert Prochnow at
35. “I once told an actuary to go to the end of the line. He came back
five minutes later and said he couldn’t because someone else was already
there.” (Submitted by Mitchell A. Kaplan at
36. When a marketing officer asked an actuary why he recommended
selling more life insurance policies to 98 year olds, the actuary
replied, “According to our tables, very few of them die each year.”
(Submitted by Mitchell A. Kaplan)
37. Straight man: “Look at those white horses over there.” Actuary:
“They’re white on this side, anyway.” (Submitted by John Dinius at
38. An actuary, two accountants and a hippie were flying in a four
seat plane when the actuary calculated it was highly probable they would
run out of gas and crash over the sea if they did not parachute to
safety over land soon. The accountants found the parachutes and after
several minutes of calculations came back together to announce there
were only three parachutes, but four people. One of the accountants
sarcastically looked at the actuary and said, “You actuaries are
supposed to be so smart – why don’t you figure out how 3 can equal 4?”
The actuary seriously replied, “The proof would be a waste of time; the
most logical way to decide this is to have the person with the smallest
remaining life expectancy stay on the plane.” When the actuary did the
calculations, he decided that the 54 year old smoking hippie was the one
who had to stay. With this decided, the actuary promptly grabbed a
parachute and jumped out. The accountants looked at the hippie with a
great deal of guilt since they hadn’t comprehended the calculations or
the logic behind the decision. The hippie looked at them and said, “Man,
that really sucks! I wish I could have gotten my pot out of my backpack
before that actuary jumped out with it.” (Submitted by Damon Ogden at
39. The ACTUARY’s PRAYER (ver 3.01)

Our model, which art in nowhere.
Guessing be thy name.
assumptions come,
Thy will be done in future as it was in the
Give us this day our premium rates,
and forgive us our lousy
as we forgive those who supply us with crappy
Lead us not into insolvencies,
and deliver us from
For thine is the #NAME?, #DIV/0!, and #VALUE!,
and ever. Amen.

(Submitted by Steve Tong at

40. Question: Why did the actuary put in his will that he is to be
buried in Israel? Answer: The chances of resurrection are better there.
(Submitted by

41. An engineer, an architect and an actuary are stranded on a desert
island with only one can of baked beans and no can opener. The engineer
suggests lighting a fire to heat up the can so that the contents will
expand and force the can to open. The architect says the contents would
scatter all over the place, so he suggests building a structure around
the fire to catch the contents. The actuary says, “Assume a can opener
… “. (Submitted by Jon Lavi at
42. An actuary is standing by an empty swimming pool. As he sees
someone running up to dive in, he whispers, “Stop. There is no water in
the pool.” The diver jumps in and of course lands flat on his face on
the dry pool bottom. The actuary shouts, “Told you so.” (Submitted by
Jon Lavi.)
43. I’ve never met an actuary whose rates didn’t depend on the cost of
his character. (Submitted by Daniel Kligman at
44. A psychologist was studying the problem-solving abilities of
engineers and actuaries. During a joint interview with one engineer and
one actuary, the engineer was asked “If there was a fire in the
wastebasket and a bucket of water on my desk, what would you do?” The
engineer responded that he would put out the fire with the bucket of
water. Then the actuary was asked “If there was a fire in the
wastebasket and a bucket of water on the window sill, what would you
do?” The actuary’s studied reply was “I would move the bucket to the
desk, thus reducing the problem to the previously solved one.” (Submitted
by Stephen Prevatt at
45. Question: What do you call an actuary who is talking to someone?
Answer: Popular. (Submitted by Lawrence Tsui at
46. A man with a wooden leg wanted to buy fire insurance for his leg.
The first actuary quoted an annual premium of $500, estimating that the
leg would burn once in 20 years and the value of the leg is $10,000. The
second actuary quoted an annual premium of $50. When the second actuary
was asked how he arrived at such a small figure, he replied, “I have
this situation in the fire schedule rating table. The object is a wooden
structure with an upper sprinkler, isn’t it?” (Submitted by Esko
47. Actuaries are very good at numbers – so good they even do sex by
numbers. They know 156 different sexual positions. They just don’t know
anyone who wants to have sex with them. (Submitted by Colin Priest at
48. A doctor, an engineer and an actuary were arguing about which was
the oldest profession. The doctor stated that God created Eve from
Adam’s rib, which was of course a surgical procedure. The engineer
argued that, earlier, God had created order from chaos, which was an
engineering feat. “But,” asked the actuary, “who created the chaos?”
(Submitted by Les Moskowitz at
49. Question: What’s the difference between a lotto player and an
actuary? Answer: A lotto player will sometimes get the numbers correct,
and an actuary will get a large amount of money he or she didn’t work
for. (Submitted by Colin Priest)
50. Question: What’s the difference between a sperm and an actuary?
Answer: The sperm has a one in a million chance of becoming a human
being. (Submitted by Mark Scanlon at

51. Question: How do you keep an actuary in the shower all day?
Answer: Give the actuary a bottle of shampoo which says “lather, rinse,
repeat.” (Submitted by Pat Brockett at
52. You can take all the actuaries in the world and put them end to
end, and they still won’t reach agreement. (Submitted by Kirk Fleming at
53. Trendy clothing store for actuaries: the GAAP. (Submitted by Peter
Jarvis at
54. Commutation function: an actuary driving to work. (Submitted by
Peter Jarvis)
55. Did you hear the one about the actuary who walked into Abar … ?
(Submitted by Peter Jarvis). He sat down and told the continuous story of
his whole life.(Joke improved by Anonymous.)
56. Bad News: On February 2, the actuary stuck his head out of his
office and saw his shadow. That means six more weeks of year-end.
(Submitted by Peter Jarvis)
57. A guy in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says, “Want
to hear an actuary joke?”
The guy next to him replies, “Well, before
you tell that joke, you should know that I’m 6 feet tall, 200 pounds,
and I’m an actuary. The guy sitting next to me is 6’2″ tall, 225 pounds,
and he’s an actuary. And the guy sitting next to him is 6’5″ tall, 250
pounds, and he’s an actuary. Now, do you still want to tell that
The first guy says, “No, I don’t want to have to explain it
three times.” (Submitted by Peter Jarvis)
58. Definition of an actuarial paper: A triangle circumscribed by a
square. (Submitted by Daniel Kligman at
59. On Models: It’s not that numbers lie, it’s that liars and their
numbers together number so great that they simply obfuscate. (Submitted
by Daniel Kligman) This is Jerry Tuttle’s web page. If someone else is
claiming this page, then he or she stole it.
60. An actuary is walking down the corridor when he feels a twinge in
his chest. Immediately, he runs to the stairwell and hurls himself down.
His friend, visiting him in the hospital, asks why he did that. The
actuary replies, “The chances of having a heart attack and falling down
the stairs are much lower than the chances of having a heart attack
only. (Submitted by Kelly Wagner, a CPA who works with a lot of
actuaries, at Kelly_Wagner@TDI.STATE.TX.US)

61. SWAG method of setting loss reserves: Systematic Wild-Ass Guess.
(Submitted by Kelly Wagner)
62. How’d you get that number? POOYA: Pulled Out Of Your Ass
63. Actuarial equivalent to GAAP: Commonly Recognized Actuarial
64. Question: What do you get when you cross a male actuary and a
female actuary?
Answer: Magnitude of male actuary times magnitude of
female actuary times sine of the angle between them.
Question: What
do you get when you cross an actuary and an a mountain
Answer: You can’t do that – a mountain climber is a scalar.
(Submitted by Robin Damm at
65. An underwriter takes his two actuaries into a restaurant. The
waiter asks the underwriter what he would like to eat, and the
underwriter says, “I’ll have the steak.” Then the waiter asks the
underwriter, “And for your vegetables?” The underwriter replies,
“They’ll have the steak too.”
66. An actuary is a person that measures the length of a room by
stepping one foot in front of the other, and then uses a micrometer to
measure the final remaining position. (Submitted by Don Anson at An actuary is a person who measures with a
micrometer, marks with a chalk, and cuts with an axe. (Submitted by
Wayne Abbott at
67. Question: How can you tell when a pricing actuary is getting soft?
Answer: When he or she actually LISTENS to Marketing before saying “No”.
(Submitted by Paul Nance at
68. The only difference between actuaries and accountants is that
actuaries don’t have to know how to golf in order to get a job.
(Submitted by Jonathan Gardner at
69. An actuary and a farmer were traveling by train. When they passed
a flock of sheep in a meadow, the actuary said, “There are 1,248 sheep
out there.” The farmer replied, “Amazing. By chance, I know the owner,
and the figure is absolutely correct. How did you count them so
quickly?” The actuary answered, “Easy, I just counted the number of legs
and divided by four.” (Submitted by Leif Osvold at
70. Neither actuary nor actuarial are words that should
be used in internal correspondence, external correspondence, or official
company titles. Since these words are too difficult to spell and
pronounce, the imposing of these words on the majority of the company’s
employees through their indiscriminate use would create an uncomfortable
work environment. In addition, since so few employees or customers of
the company know what these words mean, their use would confuse them and
cause them to feel inferior.It is recognized that there are occasions when an employee may find it
necessary to use one of these words. However, the employee must precede
such use with a statement indicating the incapability of the individual
to find an acceptable word to express himself.The following is an example of how this rule might be implemented. “The
(Warning – Prohibited word to follow for which I am incapable of
finding an acceptable substitute)
actuary must provide an
annual certification.”
(The above is by Tom Bakos, in
“Contingencies”, Nov.-Dec., 1997, page 52.)

71. Definition of IBNR: In there, But Not Really. (Submitted by Janet
Buchanan at Interesting, But Not Reliable
(anonymous)Interesting, But Not Relevant (anonymous)
72. Why is remarriage is the actuarial equivalent of death? Workers
compensation fatality benefits are generally payable to the surviving
spouse until death or remarriage, (Attributed to Ralph Garfield)
73. Broker talking to actuary: “Why did you trend the fidelity losses?
Just because someone stole a million dollars last year, does that mean
he would have to steal a million plus this year?”
74. Question: Why would an actuary’s brain cost more than that of the
average person? Answer: An actuary’s brain has hardly ever been used.
(Submitted by Kim Yeoh at
75. There is a huge pigeon problem in the city – pigeon droppings are
everywhere and it is a real mess. The mayor tells his staffers to find a
way to get rid of the pigeons forever. Many things are tried, but
nothing seems to be able to get rid of the pigeons. Finally the staffers
find a “pigeon buster” who guarantees to get rid of the pigeons. The
pigeon buster tells the mayor that he will get rid of the pigeons
immediately, and that he will wait three weeks to get paid. The fee will
be five million dollars – plus one million dollars for each question
asked. The mayor agrees. The pigeon buster opens up his briefcase,
removes a little pink box, and goes off to rid the city of pigeons. Sure
enough, the pigeons disappear. They disappear immediately, and they
don’t come back. Three weeks later the pigeon buster returns to the
mayor’s office to be paid. The mayor hands him a check for six million
dollars. The pigeon buster looks at the check and says, “I guess you want
to ask me one question.” The mayor replies, “Yeah. Do you have another
one of those pink boxes that will get rid of all the actuaries?”
76. Question: Why don’t actuaries read novels? Answer: The only
numbers in them are page numbers. (Submitted by M. Yogaranpan at
77. Question: What do actuaries do at parades? Answer: They waive
their premiums. (Submitted by Alan Finkelstein at
78. Question: What branch of the armed forces do actuaries enlist in?
Answer: The Commissioners Reserve. (Submitted by Alan Finkelstein)
79. Question: What sentence did the actuary receive for first degree
murder? Answer: Twenty years certain and life thereafter. (Submitted by
Alan Finkelstein)
80. An actuary owns hens that lay eggs, and he collects one egg from
them every morning fpr breakfast. He also has an accountant neighbor who
watches him collect the eggs each day. One day, one of the hens gets out
of its cage and lays the egg in the acountant’s back yard. The actuary
sees this and challenges the accountant over ownership of the egg. An
argument ensues, and the actuary offers to settle it in a contest: “We
take turns in kicking each other where it hurts, and whoever takes the
least time to get up wins the egg.”The accountant agrees, and the actuary gets to kick first. He goes
inside, puts on his steel capped boots, takes a run at the accountant
and kicks for his life, right where it hurts the most.The accountant collapses, and hobbles to his feet after about half an
hour. “Now it’s my turn,” he says with some relish.

The actuary responds, “Nah, keep the egg.” (Submitted by Andrew Burge

81. Definition of a joke to an actuary: Something that ALMOST makes
him or her laugh. (Submitted by Jim Turner at
82. David Betterman’s Top 10 Things You Will Never Hear an Underwriter
Say, from “Ratemaking: Can We Talk?” at the 1998 CAS Ratemaking Seminar10. I just can’t get down to that price … let me get my
9. I wish you priced all of my accounts.
8. Your tail
selection looks too low to me.
7. Is it me, or was that Actuarial
the life of the party?
6. Maybe you should round UP this time.5. No hurry.
4. I’m going on a sales call, gather up all the
3. We really want you to join our golf game.
Shouldn’t we trend AND develop those losses?
1. You actuarial types
are worh every penny they pay you.

(Appears with permission of Doug E. Franklin at

83. David Betterman’s Top 10 Things You Will Never Hear an Actuary
Say, from “Ratemaking: Can We Talk?” at the 1998 CAS Ratemaking Seminar10. I have a hot date tonight.
9. I got a lot out of that marketing
8. I really like this partitioning.
7. Our prices are
too high.
6. I’m here for the sessions.
5. Just throw out that
large loss; it’ll never happen again.
4. We gotta take more chances
3. We can expect your favorable trend to continue
2. Sure I failed Part 3B, but what’s important is that
I learned a lot of useful information.
1. I loved that Ratemaking
’98 General Session.(Appears with permission of Doug E. Franklin at
84. An actuary, who hates going shopping with his wife, takes her to a
shop to buy a pullover sweater. His wife likes one pullover but it’s too
small. Her husband, already bored, tries to make his wife’s choice be as
quick as possible. “Buy it anyway, it’s better if it’s small because it
will stretch!”. Some days after, they go shopping again and return to
the same shop to buy another pullover. This time the pullover chosen by
the actuary’s wife is too big. The actuary, to cut the shopping trip
short, says: “Buy it anyway, it’s better if it’s big because when you
wash it it will shrink!”. (Submitted by Paolo Loi at
85. She was only an actuary’s daughter … but she knew her surrender
86. An actuary and an underwriter are watching the eleven o’clock
news. A story comes on involving a man on a window ledge threatening to
jump. The underwriter says, “I’ll bet you fifty bucks he doesn’t jump.”
The actuary says, “I’ll take the bet.” A few minutes later they see that
the guy does indeed jump. As the underwriter reaches for his wallet, the
actuary says, “Never mind. It’s not fair. I saw the six o’clock news.”
The underwriter responds, “So did I. I just didn’t think it would happen
twice.” (Submitted by Tom Toce at
87. An actuary, traveling in the countryside, spots a shepherd with
his flock. He offers, “I’ll bet you one of your sheep that I can tell
you how many are in your flock.” The shepherd, noticing the city-slicker
look of the actuary, agrees. “973”, the actuary confidently intones.
“Amazing, you win”, replies the shepherd.The actuary takes an animal and begins to walk away when the shepherd
suddenly says, “Wait, I’ll bet you double or nothing I can tell you what
your profession is”. The actuary, thinking the shepherd couldn’t
possibly have even heard the word “actuary” before, agrees. “You’re an
actuary,” says the shepherd. The actuary, stunned, says, “How did you
know?”, to which the shepherd replies, “Put my dog down and I’ll explain
it to you.”
88. Question: How does an actuary get a date? Answer: Go to a bar, and
show your W-2. (Submitted by Leonard Myers at
89. Today’s actuary can get a certain amount of social respect
anywhere … by pretending to be an economist. (Submitted by Leonard
90. Question: What is the difference between an actuary and a
terrorist? Answer: You can negotiate with a terrorist. (Submitted by
Sean Devlin

91. The actuarial EA method of estimation: Atmospeheric Extraction. (I
got that one out of thin air.) And the HP method: Hocus Pocus.
(Submitted by Richard Sieger at
92. Non-actuary: “I have a great idea to improve the education level
in our country. In order to get people off welfare, let’s pass a tax on
illiteracy. Anyone who grows up without knowing how to read will have to
pay a special tax. That way, everyone will have a financial incentive to
stay in school and be productive members of society.”
Actuary: “I
don’t think your plan will work. As an actuary, I must point out that we
already have a tax for the mathematically inept, and it doesn’t seem to
work. It’s called ‘Powerball’!” (Submitted by Darrel Chvoy)
93. Did you hear about the actuary who was so negative, when he walked
into a room people would look around and say, “Who just left?”
(Submitted by Gary Venter at
94. An actuary is in a bar when a woman asks for his phone number. He
stops to think for a moment and then replies, “I’m sorry, I’ve seen so
many numbers today. I just can’t remember the exact number, but I can
probably estimate it to within 10%. (Submitted by Amy Whinston at
95. List of actuarial pick-up lines:
7. Of course I won’t tell
anyone. I’m like the exponential distribution, I have the memoryless
6. Is that an official SOA calculator in your pocket, or
are you just happy to see me? Please note that only an official
calculator, bearing the seal of the Society of Actuaries, will be
accepted as an answer.
5. So, what exam are you sitting for? Hey,
what a coincidence, I’m on that exam committee. I’ve seen the questions
they’re gonna ask this time. You should see them, it’s gonna be a real
killer …
4. My love for you is endless, like a perpetuity.
Since the first time I saw you, my interest in you has compounded
2. I love the way your hairline emulates the p.d.f. of
the Gamma distribution.
1. If you put 5 red, 4 yellow, and 3 green
balls in an urn, what’s the probability of you coming home with me
tonight? (Submitted by Jeff McGill.)
“Hi sweetheart. Risk is
opportunity.” Who could resist that? (Submitted by Mitchell Wiener at
96. What is the difference between an attorney and an actuary? An
actuary doesn’t need water to walk on. (Submitted by Donald Parkyn at
97. How do you tell the difference between an actuary and the deceased
person at a funeral? The deceased has a new tie. (Submitted by Don
Palmer at
98. Question: What is the difference between an actuary and an actuary
for the mob? Answer: The actuary knows how many people will die each
year, while the actuary for the mob knows their names. (Submitted by
Cameron Brett at Alternate answer: The
actuary for the mob knows the date, time, place and means of death.
(Submitted by Chris Hall at Another alternate
answer: Only the actuary for the mob is asked to compute Äx. (submitted by Ben
Escoto at
99. Question: What do you get from an actuary in the mob? Answer: An
offer you do not understand but cannot refuse. (submitted by Peter
Barnard at
100. A man walks into the actuarial department of an insurance company
and sees three actuarial students busily involved in the center of the
room. One is holding a long board upright, the second is steadying a
chair on a desk upon which the third student is balanced. The third
student has one end of a tape measure and the first student has the
other. The intruder asks, “What in the world are you doing?” The
actuarial students answer, “We’re trying to measure this board.” The
intruder says, “Why not lay it down on the floor and measure it?” The
students answer, “We already know how long it is, now we want to see how
tall it is.” (Submitted by Eric Shipley at

101. Three actuaries are at heaven’s gate and are being questioned by
St. Peter on what usefulness they did in life. The first actuary says,
“I discovered a new rating plan that rates people more fairly,” so St.
Peter says, “Fine, welcome to heaven.” The second actuary says, “I
discovered a new forecasting technique that predicts claims more
accurately,” so St. Peter says, “Fine, welcome to heaven.” The third
actuary says, “I invented HMOs.” St. Peter says, “Fine, you may stay
three days, but then you have to leave.”
102. The President, the Pope, a lawyer and an actuary are on a
crashing plane. There are only three parachutes. “I should have one,
since I’m the President,” said the President. “Me too, … since I’m the
Pope,” said the Pope. “Well,” said the lawyer, “I should escape so we
can properly sue the airline,” but the actuary said “what about the
insurance premiums? Someone has to calculate those!” Everyone stopped to
think about it, but it was too late and the plane crashed. (Attributed
to Andy McGee)
103. Actuaries are the people who enter the battlefield after the
battle is over and bayonet the wounded. (Submitted by John Sallade at
104. Two underwriters boarded a flight out of Seattle. One sat in the
window seat, the other sat in the middle seat. Just before takeoff, an
actuary got on and took the aisle seat next to the two underwriters. The
actuary kicked off his shoes, wiggled his toes and was settling in when
the underwriter in the window seat said, “I think I’ll get up and get a
soda.” “No problem,” said the actuary, “I’ll get it for you.” While he
was gone, one of the underwriters picked up the actuary’s shoe and spat
in it. When he returned with the soda, the other underwriter said, “That
looks good, I think I’ll have one too.” Again, the actuary obligingly
went to fetch it and while he was gone, the other underwriter picked up
the other shoe and spat in it. The Actuary returned and they all sat
back and enjoyed the flight. As the plane was landing, the Actuary
slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened.
“How long must this go on?” he asked. “This fighting between our
professions? This hatred? This animosity? This spitting in shoes and
pissing in sodas?”
105. Why do male actuaries like to use the end urinal? Because it
reduces the probability by 50% of being pissed upon by someone else.
106. What’s the difference between an actuary and a coconut? You can
get a drink out of a coconut! (Submitted by Mike Ramsay at
107. Question: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, the bad actuary, and the
good actuary are in the four corners of a room. A $100 bill floats down
to the middle of the room. Who gets it? Answer: the bad actuary.
Everybody knows the other three are mere fictional characters.
(Submitted by John Robertson at John_Robertson@stpaulre)
108. During an actuarial convention in Las Vegas, there was an actuary
at a soda machine who had arrived there just before an underwriter who
had also come to get a soda. The actuary put in 50 cents, studied the
machine a short while, pushed a Diet Coke selection, and placed the soda
on a counter next to the machine. Then the actuary pulled out a dollar,
inserted it into the machine, studied the machine carefully, pushed the
button for Coke Classic, and out came a Coke Classic and 50 cents
change. The actuary immediately took the 50 cents, put it in the
machine, studied it for a moment and pushed the Mountain Dew button. Out
came a Mountain Dew. The actuary placed both sodas on the counter next
to the Diet Coke. As the actuary was reaching for more change, the
underwriter, who had been waiting patiently for several minutes by then,
asked, “Excuse me, but are you done yet?” The actuary looked at the
underwriter and replied indignantly, “Well Duh! Can’t you see I’m still
winning?” (Submitted by Darrell Chvoy)
109. American Pi (not a misspelling) – to the tune of “Bye Bye, Miss
American Pie”A long, long time ago… I can still remember
Computers used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my
That I could make electrons dance,
And maybe I’d be happy
for a while.
But January made me shiver,
It chilled me deep down
in my liver,
Bad news I’d collected…
I couldn’t get
I can’t remember back that day
When I first knew the
But something touched me anyway,
The day computers

So,. ..Bye, bye to the next digit of Pi
Ran my PC on
some DC but the voltage was dry
And good ol’ boys were sending e-mail
Saying this will be the day I retire
This will be the day I

Can you write in C plus plus?
And do you have faith in
your local bus
If the driver tells you so?
Do you believe in
Compaq’s goals
Can software save your mortal soul
And can you
teach me how to type real slow?
Well I thought that you were
Cause your memo said you weren’t impaired
stationery’s swell
But you can go to hell
I was a lonely teenage
Unix hack
With an incantation and a modem jack
But I knew the cat
had left the sack
The day computers died
I started

Bye, bye to the next digit of Pi
Ran my PC on some
DC but the voltage was dry
And good ol’ boys were sending e-mail
Saying this will be the day I retire
This will be the day I

Now for ten years we’ve ignored the threat
And we
haven’t solved the problem yet
But that’s not how it used to
When the luddites read for the king and queen
With a light they
filled with kerosene
And some manuals they stole from you and
And while Bill Gates was looking pleased
Time stole his
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was
While Apple tried a color scheme
The engineers returned
to steam
And we had purges of their dreams
The day computers
We were singin’

Bye, bye to the next digit of Pi
my PC on some DC but the voltage was dry
And good ol’ boys were
sending e-mail replies
Saying this will be the day I retire
will be the day I retire

Intel inside in an iron smelter
food leftover from my fallout shelter
Twinkies old and aging
I’d rather eat the grass
Q and A tried for a system
With the tester on the sidelines in a cast
Now the timeshare
net was running Doom
While mainframes played a marching tune
all tried to log in
Oh, but we never could begin
‘Cause Cobol
tried to take the field,
And Hollerith refused to yield.
Do you
recall what was revealed,
The day computers died?
We started

Bye, bye to the next digit of Pi
Ran my PC on some DC
but the voltage was dry
And good ol’ boys were sending e-mail
Saying this will be the day I retire
This will be the day
I retire

There we were all in a state
A generation – really
With no time left to start again
So come on mouse be nimble,
mouse be quick
Don’t let my spreadsheet data stick
Cause data is
the devil’s only friend.
As I watched him on my screen
My hands
and face were drenched in steam
No angel born in hell
Could run
that stupid shell
And as the ball climbed high into the night
call the sacrificial night
I saw Dick Clark laughing with
The day computers died.
I met a girl with a cell
And I asked her for a dial tone
But she just smiled and
turned away

I went down to the software store
Where I’d seen
computers years before
But the man there said the games there
wouldn’t play
And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers
cried and the poets dreamed
Their interface was spoken
Internet was broken

And the three things I connect to most
Website, Lan and the Network host
Every single one was toast
day computers died
They were singin’

Bye, bye to the next
digit of Pi
Ran my PC on some DC but the voltage was dry
And good
ol’ boys were sending e-mail replies
Saying this will be the day I
This will be the day I retire

110. The CEO of a insurance company loses his Chief Actuary and hires
a firm of headhunters to find a new one. After a while they contact him
to say they have five candidates for interview. To their surprise he asks
if any of them has only one arm. After checking the files they indeed
find one who has only one arm. The CEO immediately says “ok, I’ll take
him”. When asked why, the CEO replies “I want an actuary who can make a
decision. I’m fed up with actuaries who keep saying “but on the other
hand…” (Submitted by Michael Kwan at
What does an actuary’s wife do when she has insomnia? She rolls over
and says, “Tell me again, darling. Just what is it you do for a living?”
(Submitted by Peter H. Knutson at

111. An accountant, a lawyer, and an actuary are walking down the
street when they come upon a man who has just accidently dropped a number
of coins out of his pocket onto the sidewalk. The accountant glances
around at the coins, totals their value, and advises the man on how much
he lost. The lawyer ignores the coins and starts searching the sidewalk
for dollar bills. And the actuary uses the total value of the lost
coins to project what’s left in the guy’s pocket. (Submitted by Don
Brockmeier at
112. A farmer wants to improve the milk production of his cows so he
brings in an engineer, a psychologist, an actuary and a physicist to
analyze his problem. The engineer says, “Well, if we make the stalls
this big and add a loft and put more stalls there and if we run the pipes
this way and that, then we can fit more cows in this building and
increase you milk production.” The psychologist says, “Well, if we paint
the floor green and the walls and ceiling blue we can trick the cows into
thinking they are outside. This will make them happier and happier cows
will produce more milk.” The actuary says, “I don’t actually have an
approach, but if you try both the engineer’s and psychologist’s approach,
I can set up the statistics to tell you which you should have done in the
first place. I wonder how credible cows are though?” Finally, the
farmer turns to the physicist who says, “Ok, assume the cow is a
sphere…” (Submitted by Chris at
113. Some insurance company officers are taking a walk in the woods.
Following a path, they come upon a dead bird. The actuary bends down,
examines the bird carefully, and says: “I think we may be able to
determine how this bird died.” The agent says: “It makes no difference
how it died–it wasn’t MY fault.” The accountant says: “Not another dead
bird! How are we going to bury THIS one?” The auditor carefully notes
exactly what kind of dead bird it is, and looks around for more. The
claims manager says, “Oh, this kind of dead bird is never going to happen
again.” And the product manager says: “This bird isn’t dead! I swear,
it’s going to start flying around any minute now!” (Submitted by Tom
Holzwarth at
114. Actuaries are accountants who couldn’t stand the
115. A marketing person was trying to convince the insurance agent
that a glass half full of water could be easily sold to the companies’
clientele. An actuary was standing near by watching the exchange.Marketer: This is our newest product. A glass half full of water. It is
clear, refreshing and satisfying. This is the best water on the market.
Anyone could sell this.
Agent: It is half empty, how do you expect
me to sell that? No one should be expected to sell a half empty
Actuary: Personally, I think you gave him way too much glass.
(Submitted by Robert Himmelstein at
116. Question: How do you get an actuary to laugh on a Thursday?
Answer: a) Tell him or her a joke on a Monday. b) Trick question,
actuaries never laugh. (b) submitted by Dan Wylam at
117. Dear Dr Ruth,
I have a problem which I hope you can help me
My mother and father are divorced. I have one brother who is
an actuary in London. My other brother is serving his second prison
sentence for rape. My mother is 8 months pregnant by the neighbour next
door and he refuses to marry her. My two sisters work the streets and
hotels at night. My father lives off their earnings.
Recently I
met a very attractive girl, who is an ex-prostitute, and whom I love.
She has three lovely children – one black, one Asian and one white.The problem is this, Dr Ruth; should I tell my girl about my brother being
an actuary? (Submitted by Chris Holden at
118. Several actuaries were sitting around at an actuaries joke
telling convention. These actuaries knew their jokes so well that they
assigned numbers to them. In order to save time, instead of telling the
joke they would just shout out the number.
“387” shouted out one
actuary. The others all laughed loudly in approval of the joke.”834 shouted another of the actuaries. The others laughed mildly at this
“1,023” shouted another of the actuaries. Most of the others
laughed mildly at this one. There was one young actuary in the group who
was rolling on the floor and laughing hysterically at that joke.

The actuary who shouted out “1,023” settled the young actuary who had
been rolling on the floor and then asked him “What is it about joke
1,023 that is so funny?”
“I never heard that one before”, replied
the young actuary. (Submitted by Ed Baum at

Alternate ending:
An actuary new to the group, seeing how others get
a laugh by shouting out the joke numbers, says “214.” No one laughs.
He tries another, “427.” Again, no response. He tries one final time,
“591.” Nothing but glassy stares. He asks the actuary next to him,
“Why doesn’t anyone laugh at mine?” The other actuary replies, “Some
people just can’t tell jokes.” (Submitted by Frank Dennison at

119. Why it’s better to work with an imperfect actuary:
Of course
we know: A perfect actuary draws perfect conclusions form perfect
Then of course : A perfect actuary certainly draws “wrong
conclusions” from imperfect data.
Now we know that the data are
always imperfect.
So that we can conclude that there is at least a
small chance that an imperfect actuary may draw the right
That’s why it’s better to work with an imperfect actuary.
(submitted by Jos Berkemeijer at
120. A group of people is touring the Grand Canyon, and the tour guide
asks if anyone knows the age of the canyon. Everybody is mumbling but
nobody answers. An actuary raises his hand and says, “one million and
three years old!” The guide is amazed and asks the actuary how he knows
this so exactly. The actuary answers, “Three years ago I visited the
Grand Canyon, and one of your guides said the canyon was one million
years old.” (Submitted by Leon Zijlmans at

121. The actuary from New York City was interviewing for a job in
another city, and it seems the prospective boss did not like New Yorkers.
The boss said to the actuary, “In this job, sometimes you will have to
explain your work to people without using numbers. For example, how would
you explain the number nine without using numbers?”
The actuary
thinks for a moment and draws three trees on a piece of paper. “That’s
easy,” he says. “Tree plus tree plus tree equals nine.”
The boss
thinks the actuary is a wise-guy and replies, “Hmm, how would you explain
the number ninety-nine without using numbers?”
The actuary thinks a
little longer this time and smudges each of the three trees with his
thumb. “Dirty-tree plus Dirty-tree plus Dirty-tree equals ninety-nine,”
he says with a smile.
Now the boss is getting frustrated and tries
one more time. “All right, how would you explain the number one hundred
without using numbers?”
The actuary draws a tiny dot underneath each
of the three trees. “There were three dogs, and each of them did their
business by these trees. Dirty-tree and a turd plus Dirty-tree and a turd
plus Dirty-tree and a turd plus equals one hundred.” (Submitted by Jim
Hall at
122. An actuary a doctor and a priest play golf together. They have a
good day but it takes hours and hours to complete the course because the
four in front are unbelievably slow. After the game they go to the club
bar and have a drink. The club captain not having seen the new members
welcomes them and asks them how their game went. They say how enjoyable it
was but not really wanting to criticize they comment on how long the
four in front took. The club captain explains the story that they are
four firemen who in a tragic accident at a fire at the golf club house
were blinded rescuing players from the bar. They are now honorary members
allowed to play whenever they want but they do understandably take a
while to complete a round. The doctor apologies and says he will get a
friend who is a professor in eye surgery to have a free look to see if
anything at all can be done. The priest says all his congregation will
pray for them at church. The actuary thinks for a while and asks,
“Couldn’t they play at night?” (submitted by Peter Barnard at
123. When you ask an actuary a question that requires a one-sentence
answer, they respond by telling you where to find the source material
from which you can calculate the answer yourself, then proceed to
describe the pros and cons of different methods of calculation.
(submitted by Joseph Michael at
124. The classic party misunderstanding:
– “What do you do for a
– “I’m an actor”
– “Really!! Have you valued any
pension funds that I may have heard of?” (submitted by David
125. A guy walks into a butcher’s shop looking for something for his
dinner. Sitting in the refrigerator are two piles of what looks like
brains. The customer turns to the butcher and says to him “What are
these in the refrigerator?”
The butcher replies that the plate on
the left contains accountants brains, which he is selling for $1 a pound
and the other contains actuaries brains which he will sell for 10 cents a
The customer is quite surprised at hearing that actuaries
brains were so cheap, as he always thought actuaries were highly
intellegent people, so he asked the butcher about the discrepancy.The butcher replies “Yeah, but have you any idea how hard it is to find
accountants brains?” (submitted by Michael Gardiner at
126. According to a 5th degree osculatory extrapolation of the last 6
SOA yearbooks (before they went electronic!), by the year 2038 there will
be more Actuaries than people. (Attributed to Fred Kilbourne at a joint
CAS/SOA meeting on 4/10/78, and submitted by Bob Gabriel at
127. One actuary to another: “Come on, man, live on the edge; test at
0% level of significance.” (submitted by Hitesh Solanki at
128. This joke was deleted.
129. How does an accountant liven up a party? He invites an actuary.
(attributed to Joey Adams in the New York Post; submitted by Al Weller at
130. An actuary’s wife had a cat that continually annoyed him. In the
middle of the night, the actuary got up and took the cat to a nearby
lake. There he took a boat to the deepest part of the lake and put the
cat in a bag filled with rocks. He securely closed the bag and threw it
overboard. The next day his wife was quite distraught at the cat’s
disappearance. To show his concern, the actuary called the local
newspaper to place a lost cat ad. For return of the cat a $10,000 reward
was offered. When questioned about the size of the reward the actuary
stated “when you are confident of your contingencies, you can be liberal
with your benefits”. (submitted by Michael Swiecicki at

131. Question: What does FCAS stand for? Answer: F***ing Clever At
132. As luck would have it an underwriter lived next door to an
actuary. The underwriter was getting sick and tired of loaning out
the many personal belongings that the actuary frequently asked to
borrow. After all, the actuary should have been able to afford these
items for his own.One day the underwriter saw the neighbor actuary approach. Planning
on tricking the actuary, the underwriter decided to deny whatever
request the actuary made.Actuary: “Are you going to be using your power saw today?”

Underwriter: “Sorry, I actually have a lot of wood to cut with my saw and
I will be using it all day.”
Actuary: “That’s okay. So I can
borrow your golf clubs then, right?” (submitted by Darrel Chvoy at

133. An actuary is spotted by a police officer, completely naked,
roaming the streets of a city centre in the middle of the night.
Inevitably the officer approaches the actuary and wants an explanation.”Well,” said the actuary, “I was at this party out in the suburbs
with a bunch of young professionals, it was really swinging,
drink was flowing and everyone was having a really great time. Then
suddenly this guy yells out ‘Hey everybody, why don’t we throw all
our clothes off and really go to town !!’…… so here I am.”
134. It’s tougher to be an actuary than to be a mathematician. A
mathematician only has to prove he’s right. An actuary has to actually
be right. (submitted by Jim Hollerman at
135. Why did the actuary keep a can of lubricating oil in his top
drawer? To oil the wheels of his chair; otherwise they might squeak
and someone might notice he was there… (submitted by Jeremy Havard
136. There is an actuary who is trying to pick someone up at a bar.
The person at the bar asks, “So, what do you do for a living?” The
actuary responds, “I model.” The person at the bar responds, “Really?! I
never would have guessed. What kind of modelling?” The actuary
answers, “Actuarial Modelling!” (submitted by Tanya Eng at )
137. Three actuaries go to lunch. The waiter leaves a check for $26.40
at the edge of the table. When the waiter returns, how much does he find
to pay the bill? Answer: Zero. Actuaries always round to the nearest ten
million. (Submitted by David O’Neill at David_O’
138. Question: How do you differentiate an Actuary? Answer:
Question: How do you differentiate an Actuary on
holiday? Answer: dActuary/dx + c. (submitted by Marc Sofer at
139. An actuary is flying on an old-style 4 prop plane to the annual
meeting. Partway through the flight one engine conks out. The pilot
comes over the intercom to advise the passengers that one engine is dead,
but the plane is perfectly capable of flying on three, although this will
delay their arrival time by one hour. A while later, the pilot advises
the passengers that unfortunately, a second engine has ceased to
function. He reassures them that the plane can fly on only two engines,
but their arrival time will now be delayed by 3 hours. Shortly after,
the pilot has more bad news – the 3rd engine is not working, but he
reassures everyone again that the plane is perfectly capable of
continuing with only one engine working, but that their arrival time will
now be delayed by 7 hours. At this news, the actuary can no longer
contain his frustration. He turns to the passenger sitting next to him
and says “Boy that’s just great – if the 4th engine stops working we’re
going to be up here forever!”. (submitted by Ken Hunter at
140. An actuary is a dweeb who reads very thick books with tiny, tiny
print and enjoys the footnotes more than the text. (submitted by
Frank D. Repp at fdr@
An actuary is a person who wanted to be a plumber but refused to take
crap off anyone. (submitted by Frank D. Repp)

141. An actuary is a geek who wanted to work at home, but whose spouse
wouldn’t allow a mouse in the house. (submitted by Frank D. Repp)
142. ACTUARIAL EXAM QUESTION THAT NEVER WAS: Iggy is deciding whether
to invest $140 to take actuarial exam #2. (He has already failed the exam
once, but the first $140 should be considered a sunk cost). If he passes
the exam he will be able to get a job which pays $50,000 per year. Assume
that this salary is to be delivered as a perpetuity receivable twice
monthly for the remainder of Iggy’s life. His salary will be adjusted at
the end of each year to keep up with the CPI, which is currently at 9.5%.
Assume this student’s job prospects otherwise to be negligible (i.e.,
opportunity cost of capital = 0) and that the probability of his passing
the exam is 1 in 400 billion. Determine whether Iggy should embark in
this venture using a) the NPV method b) the discounted payback rule c)
five paper clips and a stick of balsam wood.
A) Yes.
B) No.C) Yes.
D) No, because the APV method should have been used
E) A but not C (if so, explain why).
(submitted by
Brent Sallay at
143. A financial director rings his long standing actuarial firm and
asks “Can I speak to an Actuary please.” The receptionist passes the
Financial Director through to the actuarial department and the actuarial
manager says him, “for the last time, you’ve changed over to a money
purchase scheme, so don’t need a Scheme Actuary.” The finance director
replies: “I know, I just wanted to hear you say it again.” (submitted by
Jonathan Stapleton at
144. Question: How many actuaries does it take to screw in a light
bulb? Answer: What the hell is a light bulb, that wasn’t on any of the
exams! (submitted by Michael Barton at
145. Question: How many accountants does it take to find the present
value of an annuity? Answer: Three. One to determine the amount of each
payment, one to figure out which account to put the answer in, and one
to go ask an actuary how to calculate it. (submitted by Michael
146. Question: How can you tell the difference between a CPA and an
Actuary? Answer: By which side of the bars the person is on.(submitted by
Michael Barton)
Enhanced answer: The actuaries are the ones visiting,
the CPAs are the ones being visited. (submitted by Samuel Pozzi at
147. Reflections on a botched interview

(can you feel the

Candidate A, regale us of your qualities,

Dazzle us with your toothy grin.
Transcend the knocking of your
Do all which must this job for to win.

Well sirs I am
a humanitarian chap,
I devote my life to fellow man.
I work to
alleviate the poverty trap,
And give up a few pence whenever I

Candidate A, are you off your rocker?
This is an
interview for an actuarial post!
Get out of this office you plebeian
Before of your arse I make a Sunday roast.

candidate B, we repeat the question,
But be forewarned by your
predecessor’s folly.
Don’t make the same mistakes and bad
Or it’ll be in haste you’ll be gathering your brolly.

Well sirs, I’m an ambitious young boy.
With personality to burn and
such charm, I’d say
An addition to the office I’d be to employ,

With camaraderie and jokes and fun all day.

Candidate B, you’ve
missed the point.
As qualities we don’t view personality and
Not worth a fiddler’s curse in this joint,
Now scuttle
out of here ‘fore we do you a harm.

Candidate C, don’t even waste
out time,
We see you are wearing a humorous tie.
Candidate D,
have a chime,
You couldn’t be worse than the other guy.

good sirs, I’m your man for the job,
With a personality like clay for
you to mould.
Under orders from above I’m a brain-dead schlob,

Like a cheap hooker, you better believe it: I’ll fold.

D, you had so much promise,
But I’m afraid we’ll have to bid you on
your way.
We couldn’t have such an extrovert among us,
Too much
personality is a personality of clay.

Next! You there! Fathead
let’s make this speedy,
Candidate E, we’ll make this clear.

Adjectives we prize are gutless and greedy,
A predelectation for
kissing rear.

Well sirs I’m such a soulless man,
I’d refuse
a pension to my own mother.
I stole this suit from Oxfam,
And my
conscience without a shudder.

Candidate E, we are well
We like the cut of your jib!
Refutation of a pension
to your mother no less!
Though according to our files, we already

Candidate F, can you match that?
A model prospective
employee if ever I did see.
How is your impersonation of a rat?

Are you yet purged of all trace of creativity?

Sirs, Soulless is
my middle name.
I make Gore Vidal look like St. Ther�se.

From independent thinking I wilfully abstain,
Blissfully, at a
computer, I’ll while away my days.

As for my youthful na�ve
DCU soon relieved me of that.
And fostered a love of
And my irreproachable mimicry of a rat.

(submitted by

148. Question: What do you call an actuary who graduates last in
his/her class? Answer: A CPA: Can’t Pass Actuarial Exams! Alternate
answer: an accountant. (submitted by Andrew Rohrer at
149. Question:What happens when the Grim Reaper is busy? Answer: Death
in deferment!
150. Question: Why is an artist who makes plastic sculptures of
Nostradamus like an actuary? Answer: Because he creates models to
forecast the future. (submitted by Chris Stokes at

151. There are two kinds of experienced actuaries. There are those
who say they have made significant forecasting errors, and there are
those who say they have not made significant forecasting errors and
are liars. (submitted by Kirk Fleming at
152. An actuary is a mathematician with a brand of insanity so rare as
to be valuable. Since sound means free from injury or disease,
“actuarial soundness” is therefore an oxymoron.
153. Question: Why did the underwriter deny coverage to the nudist
colony? Answer: There were no sufficient rates to cover the exposure.
(submitted by Ryan Elmore at
154. Question: How many consulting actuaries does it take to change a
lightbulb? Answer: Three. One to change it, and the other to confuse the
issue. (submitted by Avi at
155. Question: What is an actuary’s favorite dessert? Answer: Pi
(submitted by Brian Rocks at; Pi to the t th
(submitted by Finlay Marshall).
156. Obituary headline in consulting actuarial firm’s newspaper: “Two
Pensioners Release Their Reserves”. (submitted by Robert Moore at
157. While considering the use of industry data to compare with
company data, the actuary wryly commented, “That’s not benchmark data –
it’s more like couchmark. (attributed to Neil Bethel.)
158. Question: Why are actuaries called mental Einsteins? Answer:
Because nobody else understands the relativities that they propose.
(submitted by Ed Baum at
159. Three men are applying for a job and are signing in at the
security desk. The first man signs his name with an x. The security guard
asked why he used an x, and the man explained that he was illiterate,
his name was Alfonso, and so he used an x.The second man signs his name with an xx. The security guard asked
why he used an xx, and the man explained that he was illiterate, his
name was Bob Jenkins, and so he used an xx.The third man signs his name with an xxx. This time the guard was
prepared. He said, “You have a double last name, and you’re illiterate,
aren’t you?” “Well, I am illiterate,” the man replied,” but I don’t have
a double last name, my name is Peter Jones.” “Then why did you use the
third x?” the guard asked. “Oh, that’s my actuarial designation,” was
the reply. (Submitted by John Turton at
160. Question: What does FIA stand for? Answer: Finger in Air, or
Finger in Arse.

161. An actuary is somebody who takes a cheap guess and calls it an
expensive opinion. (Submitted by Richard Block)
Question: What’s the difference between an actuary and a corpse?
Answer: The corpse is better dressed. (Submitted by Thomas D. Snook at
162. Question: Why don’t actuaries ever cheat at golf? Answer:
Because they can’t round down. (Submitted by Scott Meyer at
163. Question: What do actuaries and Packer fans have in common?
Answer: They both like to think that history will repeat itself.
(Submitted by Scott Meyer)
164. An actuary, an accountant, and a notary walk into a bar. They
order beers. When the beers arrive the actuary sniffs at his
suspiciously, makes a face, and says, “If I drink this, I’ll probably
die.” The accountant scrutinizes the tab and says, “So don’t drink it,
you can’t afford it anyway.” The notary says, “You said it!” (Submitted
165. Question: What did the actuarial mob boss say about the new
recruit? Answer: They’re gonna “makeham”. (Submitted by Aaron at
166. The Actuary Song (to the tune of Monty Python’s Lumberjack
Song)I’m a number jock and I’m okay
I price all night and
reserve all day
He’s a number jock and he’s okay
He rates all
night, and reserves all day

I cut da-ta
I group and
I smooth catastrophes
I cap, trend and develop
add some L-A-E

He cuts da-ta

I weight my years
add expense
I use credibility
I pick sound leverage ratios

And achieve my ROE

He weights his years

I argue
With Marketing
And growth nut Senior Veeps
be no excess profits
While I’ve got friends like these

argues rates

My keyboard sticks
My drive is full
monitor is green
My new improved computer
Is from the

His keyboard sticks

I took exams
I had no
During my long studies
Now that I’m FCAS
Weekends at
last are free
( sometimes )

He took exams

(submitted by bmu)

167. Question: What do you call an actuary with a sense of humour ?
Answer: Part Qualified. (Submitted by Nick Spencer at
168. Four men die and are welcomed by Albert Einstein in heaven. The
first says: “Hi, I am John and my IQ is 187.” Einstein says: “We shall
do quantum physics together.” The second man says: “Hi, I am James and
my IQ is 134.” Einstein says: “We shall do math together.” The third
man says: “Hi, I am Tony and my IQ is 115.” Einstein says:”We shall do
European history together.” The fourth man says: Hi, I am Stephen and
my IQ is 97.” Einstein says:” We shall do Actuarial Science together.”
(Submitted by Njabulo.Zondo at
169. An underwriter and an actuary walked into a pub. The underwriter
said “ouch!” The actuary replied, “Watch out!!” (Submitted by John
Buchanan at
170. An actuary is someone who wanted to be a barber but the
examinations were too hairy. (Submitted by Frank Repp at

171. An actuary always looks both ways before crossing a one-way
street! (Submitted by Bob Reuter at;
because only a fool drives down a one-way street the wrong way, and who
wants to be knocked down by a fool? (submitted by Finlay Marshall)
172. You can sure tell an actuary but you can’t tell them much!
(Submitted by Bob Reuter)
173. After taking a course in heredity, an actuary concludes if your
parents didn’t have children, the probability is very high that you
won’t either! (Submitted by Bob Reuter)
174. After collecting hundreds of obituaries, an actuary concludes
that on any given day, people die in alphabetical order! (Submitted by
Bob Reuter)
175. Two Underwriting Coeds are chatting. The first asks, “How was
your blind date with that actuarial science major?” The second
replies, “I had to slap his face!” The first asks, “Was he that
fresh?” The second replies,” No – I was afraid he was dead!” (Submitted
by Bob Reuter)
176. The difference between actuaries and accountants is actuaries
already know they are dull and boring! (Submitted by Bob
177. An actuary arrives very late to his exam. He quickly answers the
first and last questions and then applies the Whittaker-Henderson
Modified Osculatory Interpolation Formula Minimizing Second Differences to
derive the other answers. The examiners sent this note along with
his exam score. “We were very impressed with the smoothness of your
answers. Unfortunately, we were looking for goodness of fit.” (Submitted
by Bob Reuter)
178. So the actuary walked up to the rural Maine farmhouse and started
asking questions of the farmer. After a bit, she asked, “What’s the
death rate around here?” A bit perplexed, the farmer thought a minute,
removed his corn cob pipe from between his teeth, and replied, “About
one to a person.” (Submitted by John Cornell at
179. An actuary is someone who tells you about a problem you never
thought you had, and in a way you can’t understand. (submitted by Douglas
Herdman at
180. Being abducted and probed by space aliens wasn’t bad enough, now
I find my HMO won’t pay for it because the actuary never priced for
it. (submitted by Mark Simon)

181. The Three Laws of Actuarial Ratemaking Science: 1. All state
filings work pretty much the same way. 2. Every state is an
exception to the first rule. 3. New York is New York. (submitted by
Mark Simon)
182. A Bayesian actuary is someone who, vaguely expecting a horse, and
catching a glimpse of a donkey, strongly believes he has seen a
mule. (submitted by Mark Simon)
183. “79.48% of all statistics are made up on the spot.” – attributed
to John A. Paulos
184. One day there was a fire in a wastebasket in the Dean’s office
and in rushed a physicist, a chemist, and a actuary. The physicist
immediately starts to work on how much energy would have to be
removed from the fire to stop the combustion. The chemist works on which
reagent would have to be added to the fire to prevent oxidation.
While they are doing this, the actuary is setting fires to all the
other wastebaskets in the office. “What are you doing?” they demanded.
“Well to solve the problem, obviously you need a large sample
size.”(submitted by Mark Simon)
185. Explanation of IBNR: IBNR is like having a love child that you
did not know about; sooner or later he/she is going to turn up on your
doorstep. (submitted by Ronald Poon Affat at
186. Question: What is the difference between an actuary and a
kleptomaniac? Answer: An actuary considers things figuratively. A
kleptomaniac takes things literally. (submitted by Darrel Chvoy)
187. An actuary walks into a-bar and begins to drink continuously.
(submitted by Gregory Koch at
188. It is a little known fact that Noah was an actuary.

deciding which animals to take into the Ark he made careful calculations
of life expectancy, birth rates and mortality, to decide which animals
should go into the Ark, so when the time came to release them, they would
optimally populate the earth.

And it came to pass, that the floods
receded and Noah released the animals, instructing them to: “Go forth and

To test his assumptions at his first triennial review he
went about the earth and saw that, as he had predicted, there were five
baby tigers, a thousand ants and two elephants and he declared that he was
the best actuary ever. But then he heard the sound of sawing from the
forest. He went to investigate and there were two snakes cutting down a
tree. Noah was not pleased.

“Why are you destroying the

“But you told us to go forth and multiply” the snakes

“But why are you destroying the forest?”

adders. We need logs to multiply.” (anonymous)

189. An actuarial student goes into a store and buys 2 copies of
“Actuarial Science for Dummies” at $16.99 each. The total cost was $50.
(submitted by Tony Batory at