Pooling resources for valuable actuarial calculations

by [anonymous]1 min read15th Feb 201213 comments


Personal Blog

It occurred to me this morning that, if it's actually valuable, generating true beliefs about the world must be someone's comparative advantage. If truth is instrumentally important, important people must be finding ways to pay to access it. I can think of several examples of this, but the one that caught my attention was actuarial science.

I know next to nothing about what actuaries actually do, but Wikipedia says:

"Actuaries mathematically evaluate the likelihood of events and quantify the contingent outcomes in order to minimize losses, both emotional and financial, associated with uncertain undesirable events."

Why, that sounds right up our alley. 

So what I'm wondering is: for those who can afford it, wouldn't it be worth contracting with actuaries to make important personal decisions? Not merely with regards to business, but everything else as well? My preliminary ideas include:

  • Lifestyle choices to reduce personal risk of death
  • Health and wellness decisions
  • Vehicle choice for economic and safety considerations
  • Where to send your kid to college and otherwise improve life success
Lastly, if consulting actuaries is worth doing as a wealthy individual, shouldn't it also be worth doing as a group? Couldn't we pool money to get excellent information about questions that haven't yielded answers to our research attempts?
If I am not misunderstanding the work that actuaries do, there may indeed be low-hanging fruit here.