The Actuary Magazine October 2004 - Editorial

by Jay Novik

Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Actuary Magazine! You don't have to turn many pages to realize that this is not the same newsletter you've been receiving for years. We've spent the past year planning and more recently, the last few months creating a glossy, four-color bi-monthly publication that we hope you'll enjoy and consider a true benefit of SOA membership.

I'd like to offer special thanks to a group of hard-working individuals, without whom this publication would not be possible. First, the Society's Board Advisory Group on Publications (Shirley Hwei-Chung Shao, Tom Bakos, R. Thomas Herget and Richard Q. Wendt), whose time, effort and persistence over the past two years created the vision for this magazine. Our contributing editors (Phil Bieluch, Morris Fishman, Alan Parikh and myself) serve as the pulse of our membership'this group stays on top of key issues and ideas vital to our profession and offers the content found within these pages. SOA staff members Jacquelyn Kirkwood, Sam Phillips, and Erin Pierce provide the publishing expertise and artistic talent needed to put this all together. All parties involved contribute to a quality magazine that looks great, and offers you important information to help you thrive in this profession.

Visually, we're a lot different now–this is obvious. But what's not so obvious is why we've chosen to make this change to "magazine" format. The Board Advisory Group on Publications worked closely with SOA staff to conduct a publications analysis that led to this new magazine. A goal of that analysis was ensuring the magazine was in line with the SOA's strategic plan–to advance actuarial knowledge and to enhance the ability of actuaries to provide expert advice and relevant solutions for financial, business and societal problems involving uncertain future events. To meet this goal, we've set out to provide actuaries with practical content on everything from non-traditional careers to international and education issues. In each and every issue we'll strive to offer fresh content–not recycled or repackaged, that you'll be able to use in your day-to-day role as an actuary.

By now you've undoubtedly received the first issue of SOA News Today, our new monthly electronic newsletter. While the magazine will focus primarily on feature articles related to the actuarial profession, SOA News Today will contain more timely content–Society news such as strategic plan initiatives, research activities and department highlights. SOA News Today and The Actuary Magazine will work in tandem to provide you with major developments that affect the Society as a whole, as well as the actuarial profession.

We're happy to report that all of this is being done at no extra cost to you. In fact, the printing and mailing of The Actuary Magazine will actually cost less to produce than the former Actuary newsletter. We've worked very hard to make this a true benefit of SOA membership, not something that you have to pay extra for.

We hope that you enjoy this "benefit" and invite you to participate in it. We are always looking for members who want to be involved, whether serving as one of our volunteer editorial board members, or contributing an article or article idea for the magazine. If you'd like to take a more active role, please contact SOA Staff Editor Sam Phillips at Or, if you'd like to comment on our new format, drop Sam a note at the above e-mail address and let us know what you think.

Thanks again to everyone involved in launching our new magazine. We look forward to producing future issues and hope you look forward to reading them, as well.

Jay Novik