Kenyon Sayler

Kenyon Sayler

Kenyon is a retired mechanical engineer. He and his wife Lisa are extraordinarily proud of their two adult sons. He enjoys walking his dog, traveling, reading and gardening. Kenyon's brother Larry also writes for HumbleDollar.

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Wrong Number

Kenyon Sayler  |  May 21, 2024

WE BOUGHT A SAILBOAT and trailer in 2008 for our son for his 15th birthday. At the time, he was too young to own a boat, so I registered it in my name.
Fast forward 15 years, and we finally got around to transferring the title to our son. Transferring the boat was quick and easy. Transferring the trailer was not.
Cars, trucks, boats and trailers all have unique vehicle identification numbers, or VINs.

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Stretching Myself

Kenyon Sayler  |  Jan 8, 2024

THE HEADLINES SCREAM that retirees should learn a new skill to stave off dementia. Start playing a musical instrument. Learn a new language.
The reality: Gender in languages baffles me. I can’t carry a tune. I have no rhythm. Which is why you’ll find me on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons in a repurposed warehouse learning tai chi. I was drawn to tai chi since it’s a form of meditation, and I’m aware of meditation’s medical and mental health benefits.

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Better Together

Kenyon Sayler  |  Dec 22, 2023

RETIREMENT PLANNING is about much more than money. As regular readers of HumbleDollar know, getting the social aspects right is just as important—and perhaps more so—than nailing the financial issues. 
In 2019, before we retired, we took a trip to the desert southwest, a region we love. It was our first visit to Canyonlands National Park in Utah. I was captivated by the beauty of the rock formations, canyons and mesas. The most striking memory was the path of cottonwood trees,

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Getting Rolled

Kenyon Sayler  |  Dec 18, 2023

THE SECURITIES AND Exchange Commission recently proposed that registered financial advisors be compelled to act as fiduciaries when recommending rolling over 401(k) money to an IRA. Whether this rule gets adopted or not, plenty of advisors are eager to help investors with the issue.
Indeed, as I approached retirement, a number of advisors contacted me about rolling over my 401(k). Of course, these advisors also offered to manage my funds for a fee, usually around 1% a year of assets.

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Predictably Wrong

Kenyon Sayler  |  Dec 7, 2023

I DON’T USUALLY FOLLOW the NFL. But this year, I’ve made an exception—because the current season offers a valuable lesson not just for football fans, but also for investors.
Teams devote huge amounts of time, energy and money to determining who’s the best quarterback for their team. Yet, this year, three quarterbacks are leading their teams when most experts, who get paid to evaluate talent, didn’t give them much of a chance.
Brock Purdy leads the San Francisco 49ers.

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Path to Retirement

Kenyon Sayler  |  Nov 17, 2023

SOME FRIENDS WERE recently discussing their investment performance. I couldn’t contribute to the conversation—because I have no idea what our investment returns have been.
The fact is, I don’t find performance information all that valuable, plus it’s relatively hard to calculate since you have to account for both price changes and dividend or interest payments. To be sure, investment returns are useful if you’re looking to determine whether a mutual fund manager is adding returns in excess of a benchmark index,

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Any Seat Will Do

Kenyon Sayler  |  Aug 4, 2023

WHEN OUR CHILDREN were little, we had season tickets to the Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis. We started taking our older child, and then brought his brother along when he was old enough to enjoy the show. We had tickets in the front row of the balcony.
Before my youngest son’s first show, he looked over the balcony railing at all of the people below. He asked why we were clear up here, when there were all of those people below us.

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Missing the Action

Kenyon Sayler  |  Jul 21, 2023

INVESTORS ARE OFTEN told that it’s impossible to consistently time the market. To do so successfully requires you to make two correct decisions: when to get out of stocks—and when to get back in.
In 2022, J.P. Morgan published a study showing that a lump sum invested in the S&P 500 over the 20 years through 2020 would have earned an annualized return of 5.2% if you’d missed the 10 best days, versus 9.4% if you’d stayed invested throughout the period.

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The Company You Keep

Kenyon Sayler  |  Jul 18, 2023

AFTER ENRON’S COLLAPSE in 2001, there were numerous articles about employees who had most of their money in the company’s stock and how they’d lost it all. Taking that message to heart, I’ve endeavored to keep our holdings of my company’s stock below 10% of our net worth. I must confess, however, that in good times it’s crept up to 15%—and in bad times it’s fallen to zero.
I can’t claim any particular insights or novel thoughts on how to manage company stock.

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Yes, They Give a Damn

Kenyon Sayler  |  Jun 5, 2023

HOME DEPOT COFOUNDER Bernie Marcus made headlines late last year with his claim that capitalism may not survive because “nobody works, nobody gives a damn.” I respectfully disagree. While Marcus has one example—people not wanting to work or work hard enough at the stores he founded—I believe America has a terrific future based on four observations:

I was a Boy Scouts leader for 16 years. I like to think that Scouts teach leadership and independence.

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Turning the Page

Kenyon Sayler  |  Jan 14, 2023

I RECENTLY WROTE about taking a seasonal part-time position during the holidays. My job at the bookstore has now ended. Later this year, I’ll decide whether I want to take another part-time job. With that in mind, I thought I’d review the good and not-so-good aspects of the job, while they’re still fresh in my memory.
Let’s start with the plusses. First, the job gave structure to my weeks. My employer provided me with a work schedule three weeks in advance.

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New Kid on the Job

Kenyon Sayler  |  Jan 3, 2023

I’M RETIRED, BUT I KEEP fairly busy. From January through April, I volunteer at AARP, helping folks file their income taxes. From May through October, our vegetable garden keeps me occupied. That leaves November and December as a slow period. There’s some volunteering that I do, but nothing that fills up large amounts of time.
This year, I thought I might try some seasonal part-time work to keep myself occupied. Retailers usually need help during the holiday season.

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For the Record

Kenyon Sayler  |  Dec 28, 2022

IT’S EASY TO GET overwhelmed by the number of documents we receive over our lifetime. Paper copies take up space, and even electronic records necessitate computer storage. Either type requires a certain amount of time spent organizing.
The sheer volume makes the question of how long to retain records a perennial topic for newspapers, social media and podcasts. For instance, many folks have heard the advice that they should retain all documentation for seven years after they file their taxes.

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Good Enough

Kenyon Sayler  |  Nov 16, 2022

AT THE FIRST Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting I attended, Charlie Munger was explaining an investment that the company had made. He said it was likely to provide satisfactory returns.
At the time, that seemed like an odd statement. Satisfactory? Not great returns. Not market-beating results. Not returns of 10% or 15% per year. Not even market average performance. Just satisfactory.
Since that meeting, I’ve come to appreciate satisfactory returns. Satisfactory covers a wide range,

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Failure Is an Option

Kenyon Sayler  |  Oct 5, 2022

I RECENTLY LISTENED to author JL Collins on the Bogleheads Live podcast. Collins mentioned several times that stock declines never last. He isn’t alone in this assertion. You can read any number of books or articles that talk about the need to remain invested during stock market downturns because the market always recovers.
Perhaps it’s my training as an engineer. We’re taught to think about failure rates and probabilities of failure—which brings me to an uncomfortable notion: Just because the U.S.

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