News & Insights

Rescuing America's Safety Net

by Laurie Barrett on May 12, 2023

May 2023-- The most recent reports on the Social Security and Medicare trust funds suggest that there may be benefit reductions in the next decade unless Congress takes action. This Client Alert looks at the current fiscal outlook for the programs and presents some potential changes that might help to strengthen them. Please read on to learn more.

Congratulations are in order!

by Laurie Barrett on May 9, 2023

May 2023-- At Seascape Capital Management, we place a high value on professional development.  We love learning how better to help our clients.  So naturally, we are pleased to congratulate the Seascape Team on recent accomplishments. Please read on to learn more.

Market Recap -- Q1 2023

by Laurie Barrett on Apr 18, 2023

April 2023 -- Markets remained resilient over the first quarter, shrugging off banking woes. Equities continued their recovery from 2022, gaining 7%. Bonds also rose 3% for the quarter as intermediate and longer-term yields fell. Portfolios participated in these gains but slightly underperformed benchmarks. On the equity side, stocks with high valuations (i.e., expensive) significantly outperformed the broader market. The 10% of stocks in the S&P 500 with the highest price-to-earnings ratio gained an average of 13% in the first quarter. The “cheapest” decile declined by 2.5%. Our equity selections favor “quality growth at a reasonable price,” and we rarely hold the most expensive stocks. Our bias towards quality detracted from our performance this quarter. We have seen this many times, and these divergences usually don’t last long. We expect this time to be no different.

One More Assurance for Your Comfort Level -- A Note from Monica

by Laurie Barrett on Mar 16, 2023

March 16, 2023-- For what it’s worth, in the past almost thirty years, I have managed three registered investment advisory firms. In each instance, I introduced or converted our custodial services to the institutional arm of Schwab. Their conservative approach to the management of their business is not a new one — nor is their affirming that approach anything other than genuine. Last evening, Bernie Clark, the Head of Schwab Advisor Services, forwarded the link below. It connects to a recording as well as the transcript of Walt Bettinger’s interview with CNBC on Tuesday. Walt is the Co-Chair and CEO of Schwab. At Seascape, we were otherwise occupied so didn’t see the interview live. Andrew and I watched it today though and decided it was worth sharing. During market turmoil, understanding whether you are in the middle of the battlefield or safely ensconced in your bunker makes an enormous difference. Please read on for the link to the interview and transcript.

Mid-Quarter Market Update

by Laurie Barrett on Mar 14, 2023

March 2023-- The stock market recovery that began last October started fading recently as hawkish Fed-speak sucked a little air out of the room. The failure of Silicon Valley Bank added to the pressure on equities and brought prices back to the levels of early January. On the bright side, bond prices increased as interest rates declined significantly with the stampede to safety. Notably, this is exactly the diversification benefit bonds typically provide.

Five Ways SECURE 2.0 Changes the Required Minimum Distribution Rules

by Laurie Barrett on Mar 1, 2023

March 2023-- The SECURE 2.0 legislation included in the $1.7 trillion appropriations bill passed late last year builds on changes established by the original Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE 1.0) enacted in 2019. SECURE 2.0 includes significant changes to the rules that apply to required minimum distributions from IRAs and employer retirement plans. Here's what you need to know.

A Journey to the Edge of War and Peace

by Laurie Barrett on Jan 30, 2023

January 2023-- A note from Monica: last November, Seascape Capital invited Mariana Budjeryn, a gifted Senior Research Associate with the Project on Managing the Atom at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center to speak at an event we hosted at the One Hundred Club. She spoke about the war in Ukraine and the influence of nuclear weaponry on the balance of power. What made her presentation so intriguing and relevant—besides that her doctoral thesis had analyzed the forces that led to Ukraine’s 1994 nuclear disarmament—was that she was Ukrainian. Her book, on the topic, Inheriting the Bomb, became available in December. The audience sat engrossed in her presentation and couldn’t stop asking questions when she finished her prepared remarks. Mariana and I have kept in touch. I would like to think we will remain friends for a long time. After Christmas in the US, she returned to Ukraine to celebrate the holidays with her family and friends there. Upon her return to the states, she sent me a link to an essay she wrote documenting the very poignant and often visceral experiences of her trip. Holidays in a war-torn country still fighting for its freedom….not exactly a storybook scene. Whether or not you were able to attend our event, I invite you to read her account of the courageous and resilient people of Ukraine who make up her family and friends. It can’t help but strengthen your belief in the human spirit. Read on for a link to Mariana's essay.