James E. Stowers, Jr. - Founder of American Century Investments®
Relying on $100,000 in seed money from 24 investors and initially offering only two mutual funds, today Stowers' company is a global asset management firm serving financial intermediaries, individual and institutional investors from offices in Kansas City, New York, Mountain View, Calif., London and Hong Kong. Current assets under management are approximately $141 billion.*
In reflecting on the origins and success of his company, Stowers once wrote, "From the start of our company, we had a dream. That dream was to try to offer people only the best products and services—second to none." In addition, Stowers wrote, "It was my belief that if we helped make people successful, they would in turn make us successful."
Early in Stowers' investment management career, he embraced a concept that would serve as the basic investment philosophy behind many of the portfolios initially offered by his money management firm. Stowers believed "money follows earnings," meaning over time, investors in the equity markets would gravitate to the best companies, primarily those experiencing earnings growth. He further refined this approach by only focusing on companies whose earnings and revenues were growing at an accelerating pace.
In the early 1970s, recognizing that computers could help streamline his stock analysis process, Stowers wrote his own proprietary computer program to identify companies with the most desirable growth characteristics. Today, the "Stowers System"—as it was referred to by the Securities and Exchange Commission—remains an integral part of the investment process guiding a number of the firm's growth-oriented investment strategies.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, this computer-assisted stock selection process helped Stowers generate strong performance for investors and brought newfound celebrity to the folksy Midwestern entrepreneur and innovator. In early 1981, Stowers' photo appeared on the cover of MONEY Magazine, accompanied by a feature story about the success of his funds over the previous five-year period. Other national media attention created additional public interest in Stowers and his growing investment firm.
By the early 1990s, Stowers and his company were becoming household names in investing circles. With the company's Ultra® Fund achieving an amazing 86 percent return in 1991, a second wave of national attention helped the company double its assets under management in a single year. In recalling that period, Stowers said, "The fund was going way up and people were calling. Every time you'd hang up the telephone, it would ring again and we were just being drowned in calls."
In addition, the 1990s marked the beginning of the company's move beyond its successful domestic growth investment process into other investment disciplines including fixed income, global & non-U.S. equity, value equity, asset allocation and quantitative equity. Also, the firm began to look beyond the retail marketplace to financial intermediaries and institutional asset management.
*Assets as of February 28, 2014
You should consider the fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before you invest. Each fund's prospectus or summary prospectus, which can be obtained by visiting americancentury.com, contains this and other information about the fund, and should be read carefully before investing. Investments are subject to market risk.
American Century Investment Services, Inc., Distributor