Best Actuaries Books

Updated on March 12, 2024
Article bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM
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List of Top 12 Best Actuaries Books 

Below is the list of the top books on actuaries which you must read if you are thinking of entering the field of actuaries:

  1. Actuaries’ Survival Guide: How to Succeed in One of the Most Desirable Professions ( Get this book )
  2. Achieving Your Pinnacle: A Career Guide for Actuaries ( Get this book )
  3. Actuarial Mathematics ( Get this book )
  4. Understanding the Insurance Industry: An overview for those working with and in one of the world’s most interesting and vital industries ( Get this book )
  5. Practical Risk Theory for Actuaries (Chapman & Hall/CRC Monographs on Statistics & Applied Probability) ( Get this book )
  6. Actuarial Science: An Elementary Manual ( Get this book )
  7. Regression Modeling with Actuarial and Financial Applications (International Series on Actuarial Science) ( Get this book )
  8. Generalized Linear Models for Insurance Data (International Series on Actuarial Science) ( Get this book )
  9. Life, Death and Money ( Get this book )
  10. Probability for Risk Management ( Get this book )
  11. Understanding Actuarial Management ( Get this book )
  12. Pension Actuarial Mathematics ( Get this book )

Let us discuss each of the actuaries’ books in detail and their key takeaways and reviews.

Actuaries Books

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#1 – Actuaries’ Survival Guide: How to Succeed in One of the Most Desirable Professions

by Fred Szabo

Actuaries' Survival Guide: How to Succeed in One of the Most Desirable Professions

Introduction

If you are looking forward to something which will give you an elementary idea of what actuary is, pick this book up. It will help you understand the fundamentals and how to prepare for actuary exams.

Book Review

The best part of this actuaries book is that it is not based on the author’s ideas and experiences. The data presented in the book has been tested. After gathering the data, the book is written. This book does not apply to someone who has been an actuary for years. But it’s most useful for beginners or people without experience working in actuary. As this book has gathered data from people who have been in the actuary industry for years, it has become the most helpful guide to students specializing in actuarial science.

Best Takeaway from this Actuaries Book

You will find a lot of useful information within this top actuaries book. But still, the following are the best takeaways:

  • It will talk about the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) examinations in detail, and you will also be able to avail sample questions and answers.
  • It will give you a clear outline between theory and practice and help readers understand how to learn quantitative and qualitative skills to succeed in actuarial exams.
  • It has covered ideas and outlooks from more than 50 actuaries and actuarial students, making this resource the most sought-after.
<< Get this book >>

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#2 – Achieving Your Pinnacle: A Career Guide for Actuaries

by Tom Miller

Achieving Your Pinnacle: A Career Guide for Actuaries

Introduction

This top actuaries book guides unlearning things you have learned wrong about actuaries. Have a look at the review and the best takeaways from the book.

Book Review

This top actuaries book needs to be more comprehensive, as you expect. But this book would add immense value if you want to get into actuaries or have already passed a few exams. Pick up this book to understand how actuaries work in the business end of things. It will answer only some of your questions. However, it will act as a go-to guide for people who don’t have any answers concerning actuaries.

Best Takeaway from this Actuaries Book

  • There is misinformation in the actuary world. The author has written this book to bust the myths and give students the best information they require.
  • It is a career guide that will help students learn how to conduct job searches for actuaries, how to switch from insurance to consulting, and what exactly clients are looking for when they look at the actuarial candidate.
<< Get this book >>

#3 – Actuarial Mathematics

by Newton L. Bowers, Hans U. Gerber, James C. Hickman, Donald A. Jones & Cecil J. Nesbitt

Actuarial Mathematics

Introduction

This book is a must for any actuarial student. But first, let’s look at the review and the best takeaways.

Book Review

This book revolves around controversy about its usefulness in the actuary syllabus. Every student of CAS or SOA has to go through this material as a part of their curriculum. Thus, they expect that this book serves all their purpose. But the truth is no matter how comprehensive a book might be. It will only be able to answer some of your questions. This book is a gem of a book. However, to understand this book’s merit, you must take time and read slowly. If you have a background in Mathematics, it would be easier for you to understand in some cases. But it’s nicely written and considered in-depth material on actuarial Mathematics.

Best Takeaway from this Best Actuaries Book

  • It is for people who need to study actuarial mathematics and nothing else. It would become more relevant if you decided to study actuary.
  • It is a primer for students who want to understand the contingencies and mathematical approach of actuary. But a little background in Maths would help.
<< Get this book >>

#4 – Understanding the Insurance Industry

An overview for those working with and in one of the world’s most interesting and vital industries

by A.M. Best Company

Understanding the Insurance Industry: An overview for those working with and in one of the world's most interesting and vital industries.

Introduction

If you’re an actuary, you should learn about the insurance industry. Otherwise, it would be difficult for you to make your mark in actuary.

Actuaries Book Review

If you’re looking for something that will tell you the key concepts and discuss the terminology in great detail, you need to pick this top actuary book up. It will not teach you to sell, underwrite, or adjust, but it is all about the insurance industry and how generally it works. Students interested in actuaries should read this book to get an idea about how the insurance industry operates and to get familiar with it.

Best Takeaway from this Book

  • You will learn four areas of insurance – property/casualty (non-life insurance), life, health, and reinsurance. So you will learn quite a lot about the industry.
  • You will also learn how the insurance industry operates, generates revenue, and gives opportunities to people.
<< Get this book >>

#5 – Practical Risk Theory for Actuaries

(Chapman & Hall/CRC Monographs on Statistics & Applied Probability)

by C.D. Daykin, T. Pentikainen & Martti Pesonen

Practical Risk Theory for Actuaries (Chapman & Hall/CRC Monographs on Statistics & Applied Probability) by C.D. Daykin (1-Dec-1993) Hardcover

Introduction

This material covers core topics in actuary. It’s not exactly for getting an overview but for understanding the risk theory.

Actuaries Book Review

It is the ultimate top actuaries book if you want to get your hands on stochastic modeling of the insurance business. Pick this book up if you’re interested in studying probability distribution in-depth. The material is divided into two parts: the first part discusses the insurance business in the short term. And the second part depicts the long-term of the same. But this book is only for some. It’s very advanced, and you need significant knowledge in the domain to understand the book’s value.

Best Takeaway from this Book

  • Many books talk about something other than practical theories. This book focuses purely on practical aspects of risk theory.
  • You will not only find concepts of risk theories here but also learn about simulation and modeling, which is of utter importance in the world of actuaries.
  • This book doesn’t include a lot of math, but it has provided enough diagrams to understand the concepts. And the book has also included new elements of the insurance industry.
<< Get this book >>

#6 – Actuarial Science: An Elementary Manual

by Glen Ninian

Actuarial Science - An Elementary Manual

Introduction

A chosen few can only appreciate this best actuaries book. Why? Look at the review and the best takeaways to know more.

Actuaries Book Review

This book is not new, and we have included this to encourage students to broaden their knowledge base. This book was published in 1923. It is being curated and presented to the students for the only reason. The book’s importance only revolves around cultural differences. And if you read this book, you could get an overview of how actuarial science has evolved over the years. It may not be a must-read, but if you’re an aspirant of an actuary, you should give it a read.

Best Takeaway from this Book

  • Very few books have covered the cultural science behind actuaries. Thus, you can’t miss this book.
  • Secondly, the best part is this book has survived almost a century. That means you can understand how much value you would get by reading this book.
<< Get this book >>

#7 – Regression Modeling with Actuarial and Financial Applications

(International Series on Actuarial Science)

by Edward W. Frees

Regression Modeling with Actuarial and Financial Applications (International Series on Actuarial Science)

Introduction

This best actuaries book is only for some. It’s strictly for actuaries and people who want to be in financial analysis.

Actuaries Book Review

This book is a core guide on regression modeling related to actuaries and financial analysis. It is not for beginners. To read this book, you need a good foundation for fundamental concepts. So, don’t pick this up if you’re new to actuaries and trying to understand elementary science because it’s quite advanced than it seems. Models like exponential smoothing and Box-Jenkins are for advanced-level candidates.

Best Takeaway from this Best Actuaries Book

  • This book claims to be of help to both intermediate and advanced students of actuaries. But only some models used in the book are specifically for advanced students.
  • You will find data sets with detailed descriptions and statistical software scripts in SAS and R. You will also learn how to write statistical reports.
<< Get this book >>

#8 – Generalized Linear Models for Insurance Data

(International Series on Actuarial Science)

by Piet De Jong & Gillian Z. Heller

Generalized Linear Models for Insurance Data (International Series on Actuarial Science)

Introduction

This book is also one of the core subjects to be studied in actuaries. So, let’s see the review and best takeaways of this best actuaries book.

Book Review

People who have gone through the book mentioned that this is an excellent fundamental book on Generalized Linear Models. If you’re a beginner and don’t know about statistics, the first few chapters of this book will help you understand the later part of the book. Thus, this book is for everybody who would like to learn the nitty-gritty of GLM of insurance data. But there is one drawback to this book. It is not so advanced. In addition, it is for elementary and intermediate students. So, students seeking to acquire advanced knowledge may find it disappointing.

Best Takeaway from this Top Actuaries Book

  • Very few books have addressed the issues on GLM of insurance data. Therefore, this book would be of immense help if you’re new to this topic and want to learn GLM in detail.
  • Actuaries should be practical, and something students can rely on. This book talks about more than fundamental concepts. It also includes exercises and data-based practical so students can learn the trade.
<< Get this book >>

#9 – Life, Death and Money

by Derek Renn

Life, Death and Money: Actuaries and the Development of Social and Financial Markets

Introduction

This book was published in 1998 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Institute of Actuaries (presently known as London’s Institute and Faculty of Actuaries). It provides an overview of how actuaries have contributed and how they will be required in the future.

Book Review

If you are interested in the actuary field, this book is definitely for you. It is one of the most interesting books on the actuarial profession and can be a good companion while traveling via bus or train. It will give you a very honest overview of the history of the actuarial profession in the UK. But the best part of this book is that it has presented the usually “boring” narrative of a profession in a very candid way. The book has contributions from five former presidents of the Institute and the Faculty of Actuaries. The insights into the actuarial career in finance and insurance make it an interesting read for specialists, but the general audience may need help comprehending it.

Key Takeaway

  • This book can help aspiring actuaries learn how the actuarial profession has developed over the years.
  • It discusses the different aspects of actuarial science in great detail.
  • The covered topics are backed by interesting examples, which the brain can easily consume.
<< Get this book >>

#10 – Probability for Risk Management

by Donald Hassett, Matthew J., and Stewart

Probability for Risk Management

Introduction

This book provides an interesting overview of how one can apply actuarial theories to the real world. Thus, it best suits actuarial science, finance, mathematical economics, and risk management, students.

Book Review

This book is quite different from most intermediate probability books as it focuses on applying the theories in insurance, finance, and economics. In addition, the actuarial examination questions from the past are provided at the end of each chapter. It will also help you cement your understanding of the related topics. This book is recommended for the course of reading for Exam 1 of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and Exam P of the Society of Actuaries (SOA). It is also useful for more advanced probability material covered in Exams 3L and 4 of the CAS, Exams MLC and C of the SOA, and the EA-1 Exam of the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries (Joint Board).

Key Takeaway

  • It shows how to use probability theories in solving real-world issues.
  • The book can be equally useful for both intermediate probability and more advanced probability exams of the CAS, the SOA, and the Joint Board.
  • Students from the finance and economics background find it useful in their preparation for the actuarial exams.
<< Get this book >>

#11 – Understanding Actuarial Management

by Philip Martin McCaulay

Understanding Actuarial Management The Actuarial Control Cycle

Introduction

This book covers deliberations from some of the prominent actuaries who shared their two pieces of advice about the use of actuarial theory in real-world applications.

Book Review

In this book, several prominent actuaries have provided refreshing insights about applying actuarial theory to real-world issues. It lucidly explains how actuarial science is an amalgamation of skills from statistics, mathematics, finance, and economics, used to foretell future financial outcomes. It also describes the journey of an actuary from traditional life insurance and retirement savings to other products, such as general insurance, health financing, investment management, banking, etc. Finally, it also tells you how actuaries manage the uncertainty of future events in dynamic social and economic systems. Hence, this book is a must-read for anyone who is an aspiring actuarial candidate or a currently practicing actuarial professional.

Key Takeaway

  • The book explains the application of actuarial theories to life insurance, retirement savings, general insurance, health financing, investment management, banking, etc.
  • It is an essential read for students and practicing professionals who want to understand how actuarial science is used to forecast future uncertainties.
<< Get this book >>

#12 – Pension Actuarial Mathematics

by Philip Martin McCaulay

By Philip Martin McCaulay Pension Actuarial Mathematics (1st Frist Edition) [Paperback]

Introduction

As the name suggests, this book covers various topics in actuarial pension mathematics, such as interest and mortality, cost methods, amortization and contributions, and duration & convexit.

Book Review

If you are looking for a book that discusses the key concepts and terminologies of actuarial pension mathematics in great detail, this is the right book for you. The book material is divided into four parts – (a) interest & mortality, (b) cost methods, (c) amortization & contributions, and (d) duration & convexity. These four parts help you understand mortality rates, theory of interest, survival functions, life annuity factors, Unit Credit (UC) Cost Method, Entry Age Normal (EAN) Cost Method, Projected Unit Credit (PUC) Cost Method, etc.

Key Takeaway

  • This book is best for candidates who intend to develop a deep understanding of actuarial pension Mathematics.
  • It is a concise (40-page) textbook with a theoretical orientation.
<< Get this book >>

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Manish says

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Kaleb Carroll says

    Thanks for sharing these books, really amazing and quite informative. Although do have books related to Personal Finance, which would be helpful for future Finance?

  3. Oscar Newman says

    Thanks for sharing this awesome list of books. Any list of Investment Banking Books then please let me know?