You can observe a lot just by watching.
“The only reason for the assets are the liabilities” is a mantra that used to be heard frequently, but not so much anymore. Why hold back, or save, or avoid spending money, unless you have a reason or purpose for that money sometime in the future? Those future needs, for which we hold funds, are simply liabilities. For pension plans, it’s easy for your actuary to assume the future benefit payroll attached to each employee, then once that total future payroll is estimated, discount it back at some assumed rate of return to today. That number can be compared to the assets on hand. For endowments and foundations, it is a much more direct proposition. They have ...