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Some Assembly Required

The SS&C ALPS Advisors Multi-Asset Research Team gathered last week for our quarterly Investment Committee meeting. Although we are always communicating in some fashion, there is something to be said about in-person meetings.

In between market discussions and investment insights (to be released soon), talk of sports, family vacations and personal anecdotes fill the void. These don’t distract from the meeting – they contextualize it. A random comment has the power to unblock thoughts and provide perspective – sometimes the best ones.

For me, it was LEGOs. My daughter is obsessed with LEGOs (so I’m obsessed with them). They’re simple yet you can build extraordinary structures with them; you can follow directions or let your imagination run wild; most importantly, they are more fun to build together.

As the meeting’s discussions traversed the markets, recent market volatility and asking the question of “What do we know?” in my head the answer was simple – LEGOs.

Although my daughter is not quite in Kindergarten it reminded me of a book called All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.1 In this case it’s true. LEGOs are not just simple – they are “elemental”. They exemplify foundational elements – “building blocks” – of our work at SS&C ALPS Advisors:

  • Long-Term Mindset: Although we are constantly evaluating opportunities, wealth is compounded over a long time-horizon. Adjustments are made but solid products will stand the test of time.

  • Explain Like I’m 5 (ELI5): Communication with clients is key. You can build complex structures with simple instructions.

  • Greenlights: We are trying to help clients achieve more goals and catch more “greenlights”, as described in Matthew McConaughey’s memoir.2 Our methodologies are “approaches” – the art in wealth management – that allows us to stay flexible. Once you’ve built a few sets – you understand how the pieces go together.

    “Create structure, so you can have freedom . . . if and when we get knowledge of the space, the craft, the people and the plan . . . creativity needs borders.”   
    -  Matthew McConaughey, Greenlights

  • Objectives: We believe strongly that the process of crafting an investment portfolio is directly related to an objective: growing, preserving or distributing capital. We use these as guides when building investment portfolios.

Team meetings and discussions with clients ultimately reinforce the social nature of wealth management. Like building LEGOs with your child, managing wealth is personal – and requires assembly. Especially during times of market turbulence, it’s important to go back to the basics.

Stay Invested, Stay Protected and Stay Flexible.


Important Disclosures & Definitions

1 Fulghum, R. (1988). All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten: uncommon thoughts on common things. New York, Ivy.

2 McConaughey, M. (2020). Greenlights. First edition. New York, Crown.

AAI000442 06/30/2025

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