Naked Statistics

Charles Wheelan

with Charles Wheelan

Senior Lecturer at University of Chicago, columnist for Yahoo!

Naked Statistics

Naked Statistics 1050 750 33Voices

33voices interviews Charles Wheelan, author of Naked Statistics.

Naked Statistics

Having spent twenty-four years in the insurance industry, I’ve learned to understand and appreciate the power of statistics.  I learned early on that from an actuarial perspective, buying insurance is often a losing proposition; in fact, less than one percent of all pure term insurance policies issued are ultimately paid out – therefore, the opportunity cost becomes far greater than it’s benefit.   


Cash value life insurance, on the other hand, reverses that trend as it provides a hedge, both against living too long and dying too soon. Make it to your life expectancy, and you’ll accrue a cash value far greater than your contributions; die prematurely, and your beneficiaries will receive a benefit disproportionately greater than the premiums you paid.  These type of probabilities are very real, but also highly subjective.  


In his highly engaging book, Naked Statistics, Dartmouth College professor, Charles Wheelan describes statistics as ‘a high-caliber weapon:  helpful when used correctly and potentially disastrous in the wrong hands’.  Here’s a set of tools to help you understand how today’s world work —–