About Us

Started in 2016 by a two-man leadership team with over 50 years combined industry experience, Applied Investment Strategies (AIS) provides clients with insight into the future risk environment of the capital markets through the science of predictive risk. The founders conceived the practice of predictive risk while managing institutional portfolios in hedge funds at some of the nation’s largest banks. AIS is a Texas and Connecticut registered investment advisor that primarily focuses on the risk environment and how it might be changing. The firm’s innovative AIS Predictive Risk Technologies allow clients the ability to see risk on the horizon, whether it’s increasing or decreasing. AIS is driven by its ability to arm clients with advance notification of risk as markets update in real-time. The firm makes its suite of products available to institutional investors, family offices, endowments and registered investment advisors.

What AIS Does

AIS distributes a suite of products to aid the investment management process. The risk to financial assets during periods of market crisis can be devastating. This has driven our development of the science of predictive risk and the systematic technologies required to enable risk identification and delivery – all with a keen look toward the future. Advance risk notice not only enables our clients to take protective steps, but also creates actionable trading opportunities. We engage our clients in two primary ways:

Predictive Risk Technology Licensing

AIS offers a patent-pending approach to synthesizing voluminous amounts of noisy financial market data. Our strategic channels deliver clear, real-time indications of macro risk across the capital markets that effect your managed assets. Our proprietary beta risk mitigation technologies defend a portfolio’s alpha by indicating the direction, velocity and magnitude of the components of risk.

Our technologies are constructed for a predictive view of risk, 3-12 months in advance and are designed to aid and supplement existing risk management practices by all interested parties in our client firms.

AIS Predictive Risk Technologies manage crisis performance, in advance of the occurrence, allowing for de-risking through modification of the portfolio holdings or application of hedging instruments.

  • AIS Predictive Risk Index - Aggregate Market
  • AIS Predictive Risk Index - Short Term Credit/Funding
  • AIS Predictive Risk Index - Corporate Credit/Funding
  • AIS Predictive Risk Index - Interest Rate Stability/Expectations
  • AIS Predictive Global Macro Risk Index
  • AIS Predictive Economic Growth Risk Index
  • AIS Predictive Risk Index - Volatility Indicator
  • AIS Proprietary Component Trade Calculators

Predictive Risk Advisory Services

AIS offers multiple levels of client engagement for additional levels of support and risk interpretation of our risk monitoring technologies, general risk environment and hedging structure recommendations by asset type.

AIS offers advisory services in a quasi-sub-advisory role on portfolio decision-making input through real-time AIS proprietary risk vectors tailored to the asset class/strategy.

Additionally, AIS offers monthly market commentary from a risk perspective for those users that do not require real-time risk guidance.

  • Client Access to AIS Predictive Risk Personnel for Risk Consultation and Translation
  • Client Access to Cutting-Edge Trading and Investment Strategies
  • Creating Competitive Advantages for Clients Through the Development and Licensing of Client-Specific Technologies
  • Client Access to the Next Generation of Quantitative Investment Strategies, Powered by AIS Predictive Risk Technologies
  • Client Access to AIS Flash Alerts for Risk Events Transpiring in the Capital Markets
  • Monthly Detailed Risk Assessment Research Commentary

How AIS works with portfolio managers, traders and risk personnel

AIS engages with asset managers via three primary means—Business Support Services, Portfolio Diversification Enhancement and Business Development Services. AIS risk management tools act as an enhancement to an active manager’s alpha-generation proposition.


Business Support Services

Risk Identification

Applied Investment Strategies leads the field in identifying changing risk climates in advance, often 3-12 months or more. That monitoring of future risk in real-time by portfolio managers, traders and risk personnel gives our clients the competitive edge to identify risk-on and risk-off environments with advance notice. Our Predictive Risk Technologies are complementary to any existing risk management framework in use by investment management firms. By adding our predictive element to these existing systems and policies, clients move closer to that 360° risk coverage desired by executive management.


Business Support Services

Advisory Services (Risk Consulting and Translation)

Risk in the capital markets is not always apparent nor the clearest of topics. And often, it seems that only a fraction of what is to come can be seen. But, the technology being utilized to identify the risk environment and how it is shifting, and the vantage point with which it is viewed is of primary importance. That’s why our predictive risk personnel are available for consulting on current and future risk, asset types which will be most impacted by what’s on the horizon and how to protect those and all assets.


Portfolio Diversification Enhancement

Trading Support (Investment Management Trading Signals)

Our real-time Predictive Risk Technologies yield actionable trades with entry and exit points, which give portfolio managers and traders a competitive edge. And because our technologies allow these investment professionals to view the risk environment in real-time, risk-on and risk-off macro environments are easily identifiable for long and short trading in all asset classes.


Business Development Services

Building a New Generation of Risk-Mitigated Strategies

Applied Investment Strategies contracts with asset managers to utilize our patent-pending risk mitigation vectors and embed them actively or systematically into funds and portfolios. Asset managers can leverage their existing processes and add an entirely new sleeve of risk-mitigated funds and portfolios in conjunction with their existing product offering.


Business Support Services

Advisory Services

Applied Investment Strategies can engage with asset managers in a quasi-sub-advisory role to provide support services for AIS licensed products. For both fixed income and equity portfolio managers, Applied Investment Strategies can provide input into the portfolio decision-making by providing real-time trade decision assistance with our proprietary risk vectors tailored to the asset class/strategy.


Portfolio Diversification Enhancement

Applied Investment Strategies can increase the diversification of portfolios by reducing the risk profile in volatile asset classes and strategies and thus, increase the return profile by lessening drawdown severity so that these strategies are appealing in investor portfolios. Our proprietary ARMS risk mitigation vectors enable an active portfolio manager to defend a fund/portfolio’s alpha generated.

Leadership Team

AIS is guided by a dynamic and experienced leadership team, using the firm’s innovative technologies to provide clients with advance notice of financial risk.


Robert B. Ross

CEO and Chief Investment Officer

Robert Ross has enjoyed a successful career in the investment management industry since 1995, with a particular interest and focus on the asset and portfolio risk management elements of institutional asset management. An economist by training, he has a passion for improving investment performance return profiles by focusing on the downside risk exposure present in all investment assets and strategies. His favorite quote is by famed investor Jack Nash (1929–2008), an inductee into Institutional Investors’ Alpha Hedge Fund Manager Hall of Fame: “The best way to make money is not to lose it in the first place.”

Currently, as chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Applied Investment Strategies, a privately held, Texas-registered investment advisory, he oversees all product development and investment management operations for the firm’s quantitative predictive risk management vector products, in addition to the firm’s quantitative investment strategies business.

Ross has over 20 years of institutional asset management experience with J.P. Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, Harbert Management Corporation and Sagamore Hill Capital Management. He has been responsible for managing capital in numerous investment strategies and in most major asset classes, including equity long/short, equity market-neutral, emerging markets equity and fixed income, risk arbitrage, capital structure arbitrage, U.S. and global high-yield, private and public real estate, and commodities. Throughout his career, he has placed an emphasis on portfolio risk mitigation. To that end, he has developed successful quantitative risk management strategies to enhance the risk/risk of complex portfolios.

Robert holds an MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University. A Ridgewood, New Jersey, native, Robert and his wife, Thea, currently reside in New Canaan, Connecticut


James P. Steele


James Steele has enjoyed a successful career in the financial services industry since 1981, with a particular interest and focus on the creation and distribution of retirement and investment products. He was responsible for the creation and maintenance of liabilities for a $15 billion portfolio for a leading multinational life insurer. He was at the forefront of the creation of the first and second generations of volatility-controlled investment indices after the 2008–2009 financial crisis.

Currently, as president of Applied Investment Strategies, a privately held, Texas-registered investment advisory, he oversees all product distribution, intellectual property, licensing, financial and operations for the firm and its quantitative predictive risk management vector products, in addition to the firm’s quantitative investment strategies business.

Steele has over 30 years’ experience in the life insurance and financial services industries, primarily with large national and multinational insurers, brokerages and risk-controlled quantitative investment strategy providers. He is also a partner in Index Methodologies, LLC, and its parent, Alpha Artists, LLC, a quantitative investment strategies provider to the U.S. life insurance industry. Steele was president of IFS Financial Services, a division of Integrated Financial Settlements, Inc., from 2009–2011. He was previously with the AIG American General Domestic Life Companies from 1998–2007, serving in multiple roles, including president of the International Structured Settlements Division, with responsibilities in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

Steele holds an MBA from the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business at West Texas A&M University and earned a Bachelor of Science from the same institution. A Texas native, Steele currently resides in Amarillo, Texas with his wife, Robin.