STUMP » Articles » STUMP ephemera: Bloomberg, MERRY CHRISTMAS, and an Excel webcast » 1 December 2018, 19:58

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

STUMP ephemera: Bloomberg, MERRY CHRISTMAS, and an Excel webcast  


1 December 2018, 19:58

Howdy all!

So my internet connection has been extremely wonky at home of late, so this will be quick.


I got quoted in Bloomberg yesterday, and I thought you might find it amusing. The funniest part is that I and Riley Howsden are the bookends, and I was the person who told the reporter about Riley (hey, I like Riley! We’re not really opposed. Also, the thumbnail used to have a pic of Riley right under the “Unsexy” headline – we had a laugh at that.)

Link to the Bloomberg piece: Unsexy Actuaries Are 97.28892% Certain They Need Stronger Brand

Actuarial Outpost thread discussing the piece: Unsexy Actuaries vs Sexy Data Scientists

I really appreciate the author, Michael Sasso, making a piece out of this — I was pretty skeptical myself, because, let’s face it, even actuaries bore other actuaries. Many of the SOA members barely paid attention to the “drama” that occurred recently.

The CAS members, on the other hand…


My son and I sang a holiday song.


D came up with his own choreography.

My middle child, Siobhan, makes a short entrance, but neither she nor her older sister wanted to join in the singing. Ah, teenagers.

If you want to get a good laugh, here’s a video back in the 80s when I was a smartass 8-year-old singing the same song (and some others) along with my sisters, cousins, and grandma:

(and if you watch the whole thing… Santa shows up!)


I’ve mentioned this sporadically — on top of my day job, I do (paid) webcasts for Actex Learning. I mainly cover Excel issues for actuaries, but my topics are general enough that non-actuaries may also be interested.

My next webcast is on December 11 — it’s on advanced techniques in Excel dataviz. I will be covering templates and the use of VBA in data visualization in Excel (and a few other things).

Excerpt of the description:

Microsoft Excel is the de facto standard spreadsheet software used by most actuaries in their day-to-day operations in the business world. Unfortunately, too often, we do not use this powerful tool to benefit from its full capabilities. This becomes especially true with respect to its ability to provide valuable data visualization to make complex information more accessible to decision-makers. In this ACTEX Learning Webinar you will learn how to get a lot more from the tool you use every day!
Learning Objectives:

  • Gain insight into the Excel 2016 graphing engine, and learn what you can, (and cannot), easily control
  • Become more efficient by learning to use graph templates that will improve the look and feel of your data visualizations
    • Creating and using templates
    • Effective template choices
    • Template limitations
  • Master how to use VBA to generate and adapt graphs
    • Changing labels and titles using VBA
    • Highlighting special points
    • Creating multiple graphs for easy comparison

Webcast purchase page.

Blog post on Excel templates supporting the webcast.

Have a graph:

Hope you join me on December 11!