Writing of 61 Tips for Young Actuaries – A reflection

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I wrote ‘61 Tips for Young Actuaries’ in May 2020, on the weekend of my 61st birthday. I was inspired by a friend, Charles Wigley, the ex-chairman of BBH Asia, who wrote ‘100 things a Planner Should Know’ for advertising planners. As I read that, I thought it might be interesting if I compile a list of tips for actuarial students and younger members of the profession – I was often asked what it takes to become a successful actuary.

And so 61 Tips was written over one weekend, but the tips that I shared are drawn from my life experiences across 61 years! I drew inspiration from my personal mission statements, life-changing lessons, principles of living, financial tips, and books that I have read. I was pleasantly surprised that the 61 Tips were well-received when I first published it on LinkedIn in May 2020.

Each tip is a dedication to one year of my life, and I arrange them in the order of my life experience.

1)Foundational Years

2)Developing a Career

3)Building a Nest Egg

4)Professional and Community Life

5)Lessons and Meta Advice

6)Taking a Sabbatical, Family and the Second Half

7)Spiritual Life and a Repose

A friend suggested that I expand on 61 Tips – to share the stories and anecdotes behind each tip. It was quite a challenge to keep to the pace of producing one story each week. I often found it difficult to start but the ideas and words flowed once I start writing, and the story often became too long!

Writing down one’s thoughts and journaling gives us a sense of self – as it helps us reflect and define our narrative.

Next week, I will post the last tip – Tip 41 Take a long sabbatical. After that, I will be taking a break and I will post less frequently.

I have enjoyed interacting with many of the people on social media. Many thanks to those who connected or followed me, and to those who reached out to me. You have encouraged me.

It has been a privilege to be the President of the IFoA, especially during this extraordinary time. Using social media to reach out to our members and the IFoA’s capability to go online has been very positive for the IFoA and the profession.