A.M. Best

AAA

DEFINITION of '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).

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'A.M. Best'

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.

RELATED TERMS
  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. Fitch Ratings

    An international credit rating agency based out of New York City ...
  5. Insurance

    A contract (policy) in which an individual or entity receives ...
  6. Standard & Poor's - S&P

    The world's leading index provider and the foremost source of ...
RELATED FAQS
  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 >>
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. Fundamental Analysis

    The Future of Big Pharma Stocks

    A look at the future health of big pharma stocks.
  7. Trading Strategies

    How to Do the Fundamental And Technical Combo Trade

    Fundamental and technical analyses should be viewed as complementary rather than competing practices. When combined, these two methods can greatly strengthen your game.
  8. Charts & Patterns

    Why These Could Be 2015's 10 Best Biotech Stocks

    A quick look at a 10 biotech companies that are poised to deliver for shareholders in 2015.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    How To Build A Bond Ladder?

    Bond laddering is a strategy used when building a portfolio: an investor can spread out interest rate risk and create a stream of cash flows for income.
  10. Charts & Patterns

    Why These Could Be 2015's 10-Best Media Stocks

    A list of top-tier and speculative media stocks for 2015.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. DuPont Analysis

    A method of performance measurement that was started by the DuPont Corporation in the 1920s. With this method, assets are ...
  2. Asset Class

    A group of securities that exhibit similar characteristics, behave similarly in the marketplace, and are subject to the same ...
  3. Fiat Money

    Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but is not backed by a physical commodity. The value of fiat ...
  4. Interest Rate Risk

    The risk that an investment's value will change due to a change in the absolute level of interest rates, in the spread between ...
  5. Income Effect

    In the context of economic theory, the income effect is the change in an individual's or economy's income and how that change ...
  6. Price-To-Sales Ratio - PSR

    A valuation ratio that compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the ...
Trading Center