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Life Actuary to MFE - Exams

Nth Root of N

Active Member
Hi,

I've been working as a life actuary for about a year, and am interested in switching career paths to the MFE track. I've completed most of the preliminary actuarial exams, which are fairly intensive on stats and random walk/Gaussian finance (the third exam involved conventional derivatives pricing). Took Shreve's graduate stochastic calculus and some other derivatives-centric courses as an undergrad as well.

I'm looking at taking the GRE later this year, but am not sure whether it would be worthwhile doing the CFA level 1 as well. Many applicants of my acquaintance who have taken the CFA 1 are in one of two camps: physics majors or finance majors who feel they need a more rigorous credential, both of which generally are looking to do the MFE immediately after undergrad. Actuarial is by no means a substitute for a strong undergrad math/physics, but it seems to me that that the professional experience might outweigh that credential.
 
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rnvpx

Member
No one gives two shits about CFA. Why are you guys moving from actuarial to MFE? In 10-15 years, you'll have the same salary as a typical risk quant
 

JLevin

Active Member
Bit rich calling yourself an actuary without having passed the exams. The CFA seems only useful for people pursuing equity research and possibly corporate finance more broadly
 

zzxxxx

Member
C++ Student
agreed on CFA part, thou CFA might be helpful for grad school if no fin background.

For Quant Part, successful Actuary vs Risk Quant: I agree that in a long run, risk quant might not have that much edge considering the job functions are fairly similar. Would still think risk quant job is a bit more interesting and W-2 will show a bit more money after all. Actuarial is quite repetitive, life side especially boring imo.

Transfer to quant, I personally would say only worth it when going to desk quant or quant trading. Just saying
 

Nth Root of N

Active Member
Why are you guys moving from actuarial to MFE? In 10-15 years, you'll have the same salary as a typical risk quant
I was thinking more along the lines of which path would seem to be more stimulating in the long run. I was thinking that in 10-15 years, it would be a lot more interesting of an achievement to have become an expert in something like credit risk modeling, where essentially the product is a higher-order, more exotic (financial) form of insurance. At least it would be interesting to see the road less traveled from the inside.

I think there is naturally some overlap between actuarial/MFE at life companies. At my company, actuaries having to do with the asset side tend to be at intersection points between asset/liability -- e.g. statutory asset adequacy testing exercises where those groups need liability knowledge. The actuaries I have met with real "risk" (pure asset-side) jobs tend to have professional or advanced degrees. (MFE's are not uncommon, and there are a few Ph.D.'s as well, but difficult to get into really the asset side as an actuary without some extra amount of specialization)
 
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Nth Root of N

Active Member
For Quant Part, successful Actuary vs Risk Quant: I agree that in a long run, risk quant might not have that much edge considering the job functions are fairly similar. Would still think risk quant job is a bit more interesting and W-2 will show a bit more money after all. Actuarial is quite repetitive, life side especially boring imo.

Transfer to quant, I personally would say only worth it when going to desk quant or quant trading. Just saying
Depends totally on where you land in the universe and more importantly what you are interested in personally.

If you're interested in financial risk and capital markets, you could potentially be in for a pretty boring time if you do not happen to land near the interfaces to those things.
 

David.Wan

Active Member
C++ Student
I was from actsc background and end up being a Quant.

1. no one cares about your CFA
2. no one cares about your actsc exams
3. learn coding
4. go get a math/CS related master (just to prove u r not retarded)
 

SoniaBailey

New Member
i passed cisco. it gave me a lot of opportunities and now i am satisfied. I study in very famous and expensive university, where work day is from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m everything day. And plus I study in online IT school, where in the end I will get cisco certification. What is pleasant, you can select category and study only what you are really needed. All they are professionals in this deal, think that it is important. With this certification I will be asked on market all the time. Try to research it. By the way, i used spotoclub.com
 
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pasquale.zaccarella

Member
C++ Student
I was from actsc background and end up being a Quant.

1. no one cares about your CFA
2. no one cares about your actsc exams
3. learn coding
4. go get a math/CS related master (just to prove u r not retarded)

That sounds real!

I got the first level of CFA and I am still studying for the 2nd just because I have been awarded with a scholarship by my employer sime time ago. I never spent to much time to go deeper in the CFA modules. At end, it is a certification and I got it because my role involved rating issuing.

By the way, Math\Stats is the way and coding is an essential skills

As regard risk related jobs, they may be intriguing if you work for a Top Consulting firm: you have to sit with the Top management of the Industry to draw risk strategies! I do not see a bright future for risk analysts inside a bank, the job is getting automated and routinely!
 
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