2008 Study Schedule

The calendar just turned to June today and it’s finally starting to feel like summer.  It’s always hard to starting thinking about an exam that seems so far away, but October 30th will be here before you know it.  Thus, it’s probably good to start working on a plan for your studies for Exam ILA-DP.

To help with your preparations, I have created an outline of the syllabus material which will be used for my online seminar (as well as the live seminar).  The outline is very similar to the 2007 version, but I have removed some sections (as mentioned in an earlier post) and have added new sections (shown in bold in the attached file).  I’ve started working on the new sections and hope to have everything updated in the month of June.  I will post updates on this blog as these sessions are available.

I have also created a general study schedule that can be used to get through the material is about 3 months (13 weeks).  In looking at the calendar, we’re a little over 14 weeks away from the Infinite Actuary’s  live seminar in St. Louis.  Thus, if you start on this schedule within the next week or so, you would get through all of the material prior to the seminar.  That will also give you about 4-5 weeks after the seminar for memorization and review.

Hopefully, this will help you to organize your time and efforts.  Please let me know if you have any questions about the outline or the study schedule.


 2008 Syllabus Outline

Study Schedule

Study Schedule – Week 13 (Final section)

This week’s study schedule covers the remaining items on the syllabus.  These last few sessions cover a variety of items related to Regulations, which are included in Section F of my outline.

Here are the specific sessions in this week’s schedule:

ILA-D800 — General Nonforfeiture Approaches (F.2.1)

ILA-D801 & 802 — Standard Non-forfeiture Laws (F.2.2)

ILA-D110 — Policyholder Dividends (F.3.1)

ASOP 1 — Non-guaranteed Elements (F.3.2)

LIMRA Chapter 7 — Illusrations (F.4.1)

LIMRA  Chapter 8 — NY 4228 (F.4.2)

Hope to see many of you in Boston in just over a week!


Study Schedule – Week 12

The next phase of the study schedule will be to cover the information found in the textbook “Life Insurance and Modified Endowments.”  Some of this textbook is pretty boring to read and there is quite a bit of information that I don’t think will be on the exam.  Thus, I would not get too caught up with all of the details that are provided (especially in chapters 3 & 4).

Here are the chapters of Life Insurance and Modified Endowments that I recommend you cover in Week 12:

Chapter 1 — Introduction to Life Insurance Taxation (F.1.1)

Chapter 2 — Qualification as Life Insurance (F.1.2)

Chapter 3 — Assumptions under 7702 & 7702A (F.1.3)

Chapter 4 — Benefits under 7702 & 7702A (F.1.4)

Chapter 6 — Specific Products under 7702 & 7702A (F.1.5)

Chapter 9 — Review of Tax Policy (F.1.6)

If you read through the chapters fairly quickly, you should be able to complete these lessons in a week or so.

Good luck with your studying!


Study Schedule – Week 11

The next phase in the study schedule (Week 11) will be to cover the remainder of the Investment Guarantee material (Section D).  This includes several study notes and published references covering a variety of investment-related topics. 

 Here are the specific items to cover this week:

Study Note ILA-D103 — Life Insurance Securitization (D.2.1)

Study Note ILA-D108 — Asset Liability Management (D.2.2)

Study Note ILA-D109 — Corporate Default and Recovery Rates (D.2.3)

Published Reference — Inflation Indexed Income Annuities (D.3.1)

Published Reference — Pitfalls in Equity-Indexed Products (D.3.2)

Published Reference — VA Risk and seeking the Perfect Hedge (D.3.3)

Published Reference — What’s Backing your Life Insurance Guarantee? (D.3.4)

These sessions have all been recorded and should be up on the website sometime in the next few days.

Good Luck with your studying!  You’re almost through all of the material!!


Study Schedule – Week 10

I haven’t posted an update on the study schedule for a few weeks, as I took a little time off to go see a few baseball games in Phoenix.  There’s nothing quite like the 110 degree temperatures of Phoenix in August . . . but I digress.

The next phase of the study schedule covers the material from the “Investment Guarantees” textbook.  This text has a lot of formulas that would be difficult to test on the exam, so I have tried to summarize the material that I feel would be testable.  The textbook is fairly easy to read (considering the subject matter), but try not to get too caught up with all of the formulas and derivations. 

I’m thinking that you can get through the material in about a week, so my schedule for week 10 includes the following chapters:

Chap. 1 — Investment Guarantees (D.1.1)

Chap. 2 — Long-term Stock Returns (D.1.2)

Chap. 6 — Guarantee Liability (D.1.3)

Chap. 8 — Dynamic Hedging for Guarantees (D.1.4)

Chap. 9 — Risk Measures (D.1.5)

Chap. 12 — Guaranteed Annuity Options (D.1.6)

Chap. 13 — Equity Indexed Annuities (D.1.7)

The first few sessions have already been posted and the remaining sessions should be out in the next few days.

Good luck!


Study Schedule – Weeks 8 & 9

The next phase in my study schedule will be to tackle the remaining information found in the “Life Insurance Products and Finance” textbook.  There are several chapters to cover here, so I am allocating two weeks (8 & 9) to cover this information.

Before I list the specific topics and corresponding sessions, I wanted to make a few general comments about the material found in this portion of the book.  There are a lot of formulas included and the format used is somewhat unique.  The formulas are written more from a programmer’s perspective or for someone who is writing a spreadsheet.  Thus, they are probably different from what you have seen on prior exams.

I think it’s more important to understand the concepts represented by the formulas rather than getting caught up in the notation that is used in the textbook.  In  my recordings I try to explain the logic behind the formulas more than the actual notation that is used.  Hopefully this will be helpful in your preparations.

The other thing to remember is that each chapter builds on the previous one.  That means that some of the earlier chapters (like 4 & 5) are not likely to be tested on their own, but the concepts presented in these chapters will be needed later on to do the calculations that are more likely to appear on the exam.  In a few weeks, I will have some practice problems which will show the type of questions that I think could come from this portion of the syllabus.

So with that as background, here is the information that I recommend you cover in weeks 8 & 9 (All of the chapters are from “Life Insurance Products and Finance”):

Chap. 4 — Basic Actuarial Math (C.1.1)

Chap. 5 — Life Insurance Cash Flows (C.1.2)

Chap. 7 — Reinsurance (C.1.3)

Chap. 8 — Investment Income (C.1.4)

Chap. 9 — Taxes (C.1.5)

Chap. 10 — Required Capital (C.1.6)

Chap. 11 — Profit Measures (C.1.7)

Chap. 13 — Annuity Products (C.1.8)

Chap. 14 — Financial Modeling (C.1.9)

Good luck and happy studying!!


Study Schedule – Week 7

The next step in my study schedule is to cover the material in section B.2.  This section includes a number of different published references related to pricing assumptions and pricing specific types of products.

The specific items to cover are included below:

Gross Premiums for Disability Waiver Benefits (B.2.1)

Dynamic Policyholder Behavior in Pricing VA’s (B.2.2)

Managing Behavior Risk (B.2.3)

Term Mortality and Lapses (B.2.4)

Lapse Supported Experience (B.2.5)

Mortality Table Slope (B.2.6)

Does Preferred Wear Off? (B.2.7)

Administering Complex Products (B.2.8)

Hidden Costs of Complex Products (B.2.9)

Ending the Mortality Table (B.2.10)

Pricing Select & Ultimate ART (B.2.11)

Data Quality (B.2.12)

Return on Equity (B.2.13)

Stochastic Pricing (B.2.14)

Happy Studying!!

Study Schedule – Week 6

The next phase in my study schedule is to move on to Section B of the lesson outline.  This section covers the assumption aspect of pricing.  Here are the sessions that I suggest you attempt to cover in Week 6:

Pricing Assumptions (Life Insurance Products & Finance – Chapter 3) — This is an extremely long chapter, so I have split it into 4 sessions covering the various assumptions (Mortality, Lapses, Interest Rates, & Expenses).  Sessions B.1.1 – B.1.4

Experience Assumptions for Inidividual Life and Annuities (ILA-D107) – Session B.1.5

Macro Pricing (TSA 43) – Session B.1.6

Pricing – A Marketing Perspective (LOMA 12) – Session B.1. 7

Happy Studying!


Addition to Week 5 Study Schedule

I have an additional section to add to the study schedule for Week 5.  The Week 5 schedule should include Study Note ILA-D104.  The title of the study note is “Actuarial Aspects of Inidividual Life and Annuity Contracts (Chapter 3),” but the chapter is really about the Product Development process.

I have moved this session from its original location in section B to section A.4 in my outline.  It is now shown as session A.4.6.

 There will be some additional items that are moving around in my outline.  I will make a post summarizing these items when the revisions are made.