A.M. Best



One of the established ratings agencies recognized by the SEC. A.M. Best has traditionally focused exclusively on providing a letter rating for insurance carriers. It has recently branched out into rating financial securities such as bonds. The company basically measures one's ability to fulfill its debt obligations. Ratings range from A++ (superior) to S (suspended).


Alfred M. Best founded the company named after him in 1899. The company moved from New York to New Jersey in 1965 and is currently headquartered in Oldwick. A.M. Best is a privately-owned enterprise and publishes several ratings periodicals using data reported to the NAIC.

  1. Credit Rating

    An assessment of the credit worthiness of a borrower in general ...
  2. Moody's

    An independent, unaffiliated research company that rates fixed ...
  3. Bond Rating

    A grade given to bonds that indicates their credit quality. Private ...
  4. Insurance

    A contract (policy) in which an individual or entity receives ...
  5. Fitch Ratings

    An international credit rating agency based out of New York City ...
  6. Standard & Poor's - S&P

    The world's leading index provider and the foremost source of ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    What Happens If Your Insurance Company Goes Bankrupt?

    When insurance companies go bankrupt or face financial difficulty, it's bad news for policy holders.
  2. Personal Finance

    When To Trust Bond Rating Agencies

    Despite investor distrust, rating agencies can be helpful. Just be sure you use these ratings as a starting point.
  3. Personal Finance

    The Debt Ratings Debate

    Lack of competition and potential conflicts of interest have called the value of these ratings into question.
  4. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Why Bad Bonds Get Good Ratings

    Credit ratings are not the only tool to rely on when assessing bonds. Find out why they sometimes fall short.
  5. Home & Auto

    The Bear On Bonds

    Bond investing is a stable and low-risk way to diversify a portfolio. However, knowing which types of bonds are right for you is not always easy.
  6. Investing

    A Look at 6 Leading Female Value Investors

    In an industry still largely predominated by men, we look at 6 leading female value investors working today.
  7. Term

    What Is Financial Performance?

    Financial performance measures a firm’s ability to generate profits through the use of its assets.
  8. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in FireEye Stock

    Examine the current state of FireEye, Inc., and learn about some of the biggest risks of investing in this cybersecurity company's stock.
  9. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Gilead Stock

    Examine the current position of Gilead Sciences, Inc., and learn the major risks for investors considering buying Gilead stock.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    Create a Monte Carlo Simulation Using Excel

    How to apply the Monte Carlo Simulation principles to a game of dice using Microsoft Excel.
  1. What does investment grade mean?

    Credit ratings provide a useful measure for comparing fixed-income securities, such as bonds, bills and notes. Most companies ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can working capital be too high?

    A company's working capital ratio can be too high in the sense that an excessively high ratio is generally considered an ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I use discounted cash flow (DCF) to value stock?

    Discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis can be a very helpful tool for analysts and investors in equity valuation. It provides ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the formula for calculating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Excel?

    The compound annual growth rate, or CAGR for short, measures the return on an investment over a certain period of time. Below ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. When does the fixed charge coverage ratio suggest that a company should stop borrowing ...

    Since the fixed charge coverage ratio indicates the number of times a company is capable of making its fixed charge payments ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between the return on total assets and an interest rate?

    Return on total assets (ROTA) represents one of the profitability metrics. It is calculated by taking a company's earnings ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  2. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  3. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  4. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  5. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  6. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!