On August 18 2004 this blog was started and since then I have learned a lot and enjoyed a lot more interesting conversations with you. Often something I write is found to be useful, controversial, or though provoking. Even the simple posts that are just a sign-post to something handy somewhere else - they all have a part to play because this is a specialist site for life and health insurance - making it a very focused place to get news about the sector, without wading through a lot that is more appropriate to, say, investments, banking, or home loans. I am very privileged to have you read what's here and so the anniversary is really about acknowledging you. Added to that, special thanks to some people who have taken an interest in writing and how to do it over the years. I hesitate to name any for fear of leaving some out but a few that come to mind are Tony Haas, David Chaplin, Philip Macalister, Susan Edmunds, Diana Clement, Mike Maloney, Tony Vidler, Barry Read, Jeremy Bernstein, Rob Dowler, Jenee Tibshraeny, Simon Papa, Murray Weatherston, Regan Thomas, and J-P Hale.
Writing about money is strange, and writing about insurance, that ugly cousin of the more exciting bits of the world of money, even more so. I am grateful to many authors and bloggers for their inspiration. A few that stand out are Tim Harford, Steven Levitt, Stephen Dubner, and Alain de Botton, were great at demonstrating how to write with insight and humour about economics and money. I also liked folks like Daniel Kahnemann, Amos Tversky, Richard Thaler, Cass Sunstein, Malcolm Gladwell, David Ropeik, George Gray, and Adam Smith for their insights into how people think, because so many things people do with their money do not appear to be rational. Sometimes they just don't look like it, but actually are rational. Other times irrational oddities come out of having a brain wired by evolution to serve up shortcuts to complex problems without showing its workings. I have especially enjoyed the rarest category of all, people writing directly about insurance - so they deserve a special mention: The Norm Chronicles - Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter, and Risk Management and Insurance in New Zealand - Michael Naylor.
Lastly, my traditional call for people that would like to write about insurance - please do! Give me a call, we can swap ideas and I can help promote your work.