By Amanda Carden @

The answer to the question of whether long-term investing is dead or alive comes down to my favorite three letters in the alphabet: Y.O.U.

When I speak with investors, most of our conversation is about what’s going on at that moment in their lives: Driving to their second home, getting ready for an exercise class, recovering from hip, knee or shoulder surgery, running to a meeting, running (walking) to rehab, or winding down from a busy work trip or a European tour.

With so much attention today given to robo-advisors, financial planning and one stop investing, it’s hard to know which way to turn.

Lucky you. I’m here to help.

Let’s take retirement planning for example. It comes down to this: You either saved enough money or you didn’t. I don’t care how many Monte Carlo simulations are run. Rolling the dice on what you hope will happen is simply not a strategy. You need to have some scratch to retire in comfort.

The hard part is the investing. Investing for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years and sticking to a plan while keeping fees low and maintaining a proper allocation.

What is in fashion today is robo-advisors and subscription services—much like Netflix and Amazon Prime—where you’re charged a monthly fee. To me, they’re putting the cart before the horse. At the heart of the matter is, will you listen? Will you listen and act on a recommendation from an algorithm? Will you trust a recommendation that will impact your family’s wealth and not just a Friday night?

Read the entire Dead or Alive? The Future of Long-Term Investing series.

Becky and I first started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel after it was recommended to us by a trusted friend, not an algorithm. At first, we weren’t hooked and didn’t come back to it for months. But because it was recommended by a trusted friend, and not an algorithm we’ve never met, we went back to it and I’m thrilled we did. And you will be too.

Life is short. Too short to lose money, that you saved forever, and too short to learn the hard way that it was apparently a waste of time to put your trust in a computer and a phone rep.

Work with people you trust and listen to them.

This week when talking with a new client in the process of transferring assets over, she said her previous advisor offered to cancel his fee for the next two years—after he learned she was leaving. Where’s the value in that?

With everyone trying to “please” the customer (too late in her case), you have to find someone who values their service enough to treat you like you’re the marvelous Y.O.U that you are.

Originally posted on Your Survival Guy

Read the entire Dead or Alive? The Future of Long-Term Investing series.