Investment Approach

Proven process grounded by discipline.

We have established a reputation for successful investment management by adhering to a long-term approach and a sound consistent investment discipline. There is very little evidence to suggest short-term speculation and over-zealous market timing will produce consistent results.

We strongly believe that to be successful, investors are risk managers first and our process focuses on risk control. We achieve this by emphasizing portfolio diversification, quality, and patience.

Research capabilities

We have access to a variety of resources that are used to implement our investment strategies. In addition to the depth among our investment team and our proprietary modeling tools, we have forged strategic alliances with major third-party research houses, giving us access to over 30 analysts and economists. Their analysis is objective and not tainted by investment banking conflicts. The combination of our investment professionals and research depth allow us to provide quality investment management while remaining focused on service.

Our financial advisors average over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. We leverage our people and resources to provide you with a well-rounded portfolio utilizing a variety of disciplines depending on account circumstances and client preferences.

Approach by investment type


A long-term approach anchored by a consistent stock selection and portfolio construction process is key to successful equity management. Our process starts with the American Trust proprietary six-factor scoring model to identify companies with growth and value characteristics that together are superior to the broad market. We then apply traditional fundamental analysis on these companies to better determine market positioning and overall valuation before selecting the right stocks for your portfolio.

We construct portfolios efficiently with representation across 10 broad economic sectors. This tactic, combined with our core bias in stock selection, allows us to develop a diversified portfolio that minimizes overall volatility and investment style risk.


Our bond portfolios are designed to accomplish three main goals:

  • Generate a high level of current income
  • Provide overall diversification
  • Control risk/volatility

We actively manage your portfolio emphasizing high-quality securities and duration control based on your goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, and tax situation.

Proprietary Common and Pooled Funds

We employ this structured investment process to the management of our internal equity and bond funds. American Trust was the first state bank in Iowa to establish a common fund back in 1968 and our internal funds now total in excess of $100 million.

All of the American Trust funds are professionally managed by our internal investment team and are designed to provide our clients with easy access to our investment process.

Balanced Portfolios

We manage money for a host of investors that have a balance between stocks and bonds. Such portfolios exploit the same criteria and philosophies discussed under the "stock" and "bond" sections above.

Style-Based Asset Allocation portfolios

Our asset allocation portfolios are developed utilizing a style-based, multi-manager approach that is built around your investment objective.

We first develop an overall asset allocation, then diversify between and within each asset class, and ultimately construct a portfolio of money managers, each of which manages assets using a different investment style (i.e. value, growth, small cap, international).

We provide you access to some of the premier money management and research firms available on Wall Street. These managers have proven capabilities managing within a specific investment discipline.

With this multi-style approach, combined with an active fund allocation strategy, we are able to bring to you a proactive investment process in an efficient and cost effective manner.

We have successfully managed money for individuals, corporations, and charitable organizations for the last 50 years using these basic tenets. Irrespective of your account type or tax situation, American Trust can provide you with a comprehensive investment program to meet your financial goals.

Securities and insurance products are * Not FDIC insured *May go down in value *Not financial institution guaranteed *Not a Deposit *Not insured by a federal government agency.