Investing is about more than just money. Often it involves matters of the heart. We invest to make a difference in our own futures and for the ones we love. At American Century Investments®, we know it's possible to also make a difference in the lives of millions of people. We live it every day. For us, the idea of investing with heart started with a love story.
Two Hearts, One Passion
American Century Investments' founder, the late James E. "Jim" Stowers Jr., always knew his life would be about helping people. Fortunately for him, the woman he loved and married, Virginia, held the same passion. Early on, Jim pursued medical school. Virginia became a registered nurse. But life can change course, and amazingly enough, also come full circle.
While Virginia pursued her successful nursing career, Jim decided the medical field was not for him (not yet anyway). As the two started growing their family, Jim set off on a course in the mutual fund business. Later, he struck out on his own. That decision lead him to start American Century in 1958, then called 20th Century Investors, Inc. It began with two funds, three employees, 24 clients and $100,000 in borrowed seed money. His goal? To help people become financially independent.
Success and Life-Changing Inspiration
Jim's belief that the firm would be successful if he helped others become successful worked. During the next four decades, American Century's growth took off with new funds, hundreds of thousands of investors and billions in assets managed. However, amid phenomenal success, life and family matters still find their way to the forefront. That was true for the Stowerses.
Both faced serious diagnoses—first Jim with prostate cancer, then later Virginia, with breast cancer. Each was successfully treated, but the experiences reignited their passion for helping people. It wasn't long afterward that they decided to do something about it in a big way.
Health and Wealth Collide
As cancer survivors, Jim and Virginia knew the fear and hopelessness that come with a life-threatening disease. They were inspired to make a difference in the lives people affected by cancer and other diseases. The result was their founding of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in the mid-1990s.
Jim and Virginia's vision for the Institute was to give hope to millions of people through research and biomedical science. That would be accomplished by investigating and uncovering the causes, effects and treatments of gene-based diseases. Simply put, the mission of the Stowers Institute is to improve human health through basic scientific research.