American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE: AEL), a leading underwriter of index and fixed rate annuities, today announced that its Board of Directors has declared an annual cash dividend of $0.12 per share to owners of its common stock. This is a 20% increase from the $0.10 annual dividend declared on November 18, 2010. This marks the thirteenth consecutive year a cash dividend has been declared and the eighth year in a row that the Company has increased its cash dividend.

The dividend will be payable on December 16, 2011 to shareholders of record as of December 2, 2011. There are 63,432,435 shares of common stock outstanding as of November 16, 2011.

SHARE REPURCHASE PROGRAM

The Board of Directors has also approved a share repurchase program, effective immediately. Under the program, American Equity is authorized to repurchase up to 10,000,000 shares of its common stock at any time during the next 24 months.

The repurchases will be made on the open market, through privately negotiated transactions or otherwise. The timing of such transactions will depend on a variety of factors, including market conditions and share price.

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements relate to future operations, strategies, financial results or other developments, and are subject to assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Statements such as “guidance”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “goal”, “objective”, “target”, “may”, “should”, “estimate”, “projects” or similar words as well as specific projections of future results qualify as forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by these forward looking statements can be found in the company’s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statement was made and the company undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that other factors not currently anticipated by the company will not materially and adversely affect our results of operations. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf.

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