By: Manisha Sethi May. 15, 2018

According to the SEC 13F filings of American Investment Services, Inc. on February 8, 2018, the firm’s portfolio value in the last quarter of 2017 was $273.71 million, of which 61.6% came from the top 10 holdings. American Investment Services’ largest holding is iShares Gold Trust (IAU) with 27,14,577 shares, a market value of $33.95 million, and 12.41% share in the portfolio. Most of the stocks held by the firm belong to the financial sector. American Investment Services, Inc. was founded in 1978 and is based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. A privately owned investment manager, the firm primarily provides services to high net worth individuals, IRAs, trusts, endowments, 401(k) plans, foundations, pension funds, corporations, state or municipal government entities, and charitable organizations. The firm also manages client-focused equity portfolios for its clients. It invests in the public equity markets of the United States, mainly instocks of large-cap companies employing a contrarian approach. Its investment decisions are based on its in-house research insights, which are also complemented by external research.

According to a study conducted by Raltin, 56% of American Investment Services’ new purchases between Q1 2014 and Q4 2017 have outperformed the S&P 500. Of these, 32% or about 23 new stock purchases have outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 10%. Only 16 out of 74 new purchases have underperformed the S&P 500 by the same margin. A detailed description of Raltin’s methodology can be found here. The following table lists the various categories of new purchases relative to their performance against the S&P 500.

S&P outperformance categoryNumber of new stock purchasesTotal new purchases (% )
10 to 20%1318
0 to 10%1824
-10 to 0%1723
-20 to -10%912
Total stocks74


In Q4 2017, American Investment Services, Inc. bought 5 new stocks from the finance, consumer discretionary, and real estate sectors. The table below lists all new the buys by the investor in this quarter along with the number of shares and the holding value.

StocksNumber of sharesHolding value ($1,000)
Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF (VBR)30,0123,985
Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (BNDX)7,681418
SL Green Realty Corp. (SLG)2,379240
Duke Realty Corp. (DRE)8,561233
Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (SWK)1,200204

The following table shows the portfolio value of the fund for 5 quarters starting from Q1 2017 to Q1 2016, along with the top holdings in each quarter that outperformed the S&P 500. EXACT Sciences Corp. (EXAS), Kennametal Inc. (KMT), Clovis Oncology, Inc. (CLVS), Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (AEIS), Cabot Microelectronics Corp. (CCMP)  and many more have surpassed the index by huge margins.

PeriodTotal portfolio value ($Mn)Top holdings (ticker, % IRR difference from S&P 500)
Q1 2017245.97EXACT Sciences Corp. (EXAS, 59.34), Malibu Boats, Inc. (MBUU, 36.43), Summit Materials, Inc. (SUM, 10.95)
Q4 2016239.45Kennametal Inc. (KMT, 35.61), SVB Financial Group (SIVB, 16.86), Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (CY, 13.88)
Q3 2016240.43Clovis Oncology, Inc. (CLVS, 112.89), Insmed, Inc. (INSM, 99.2), Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL, 73.58)
Q2 2016231.24Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (AEIS, 54.99), Ingevity Corp. (NGVT, 53.2), RPC, Inc. (RES, 14.71)
Q1 2016204.13Cabot Microelectronics Corp. (CCMP, 72.56), MKS Instruments, Inc. (MKSI, 67.9), SVB Financial Group (SIVB, 67.65)