Just Actuarial Material

About JAM


I have been happily married for twenty-one years to my wife Bonnie. We are the proud parents of six wonderful children. Seth is sixteen and likes listening to music, running, and playing the piano. Madeline is also sixteen and loves to draw, run and hang out with her sisters. Lauren is seventeen and loves sports (especially running and basketball). Katherine is eighteen and simply likes to be with people. Jonathan is nineteen and likes computers and hanging out with friends. Sandy is twenty-two and enjoys working with young children! You can see the family photo.


I have now been in the actuarial field for over twenty years. Currently, I am a self-employed actuarial consultant located in Nashville, Tennessee. I work primarily with insurance companies and other parties in product development (life and annuity), asset/liability management, and valuation. Prior to being self-employed I worked at Thornthwaite & Co (an actuarial consulting firm) and two insurance companies: Providian and AmerUs. If you need a consultant, don't hesitate to call!

Genesis of JAM

In the fall of 1991, I took my final three exams needed to obtain my ASA. Since they were three small exams, I decided to take one small upper level exam just for practice. I studied for the upper level exam like I did in college for essay type tests - read the material several times. I thought I was ready for the exam. In fact, after I took the exam, I thought I had passed! I did pass the three exams needed to obtain my ASA, but I only scored a 3 on the upper level exam. That was a big blow to my confidence. I talked to Terry Reynolds, a fellow student at Providian, about my poor grade. She explained her method for studying for the upper level exams (and even gave me her notes for exams 200 and 220). I used her method with a few modifications for the rest of my upper level exams. It worked for me! In fact, I scored a 10 on 200, 210, and 220 (after that I figured out how not to over study!).

Just Actuarial Material (JAM) was established in 1998 to prepare people for specific SOA essay exams. Starting in 2000 (when the exam system changed) study guides and seminars were offered for Courses 5 and 6, the two essay exams required for all actuaries. The popularity of the JAM products grew over the years through word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied customers. The new JAM products starting in 2007 will focus on preparing candidates for the essay exams on the SOA Investment track.

Michael S. Carmody, FSA