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18. American Equity Investment Life
American Equity Investment Life

3-year average
Revenue Growth: 42%
Profit Growth: 87%
Total Return: 27%

Moving up an impressive 58 spots from where it first entered the Fastest-Growing list last year, this underwriter of annuities has posted record sales every year for the past three years. Last year’s sales exceeded $5 billion, while net income doubled to $86.2 million. And the key to American Equity's success? A growing demand for guaranteed retirement income products. The company offers a mix of pension plans that protect the principal sum invested and enjoy tax deferred growth. -- N.S.

Get stock quote: AEL
Revenue ($ millions): $1,287
Net Income ($ millions): $65
Sectors: Financial Services
From the September 24, 2012 issue.

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To qualify, a company -- domestic or foreign -- must be trading on a major U.S. stock exchange; file quarterly reports to the SEC; have a minimum market... More