Every month, I send my robo-advisor a big check to manage my money. It’s my second largest expense, and I know I could do just as good of a job myself — because for six years, I did.

In the midst of the financial crisis in early 2009, I fired my broker and started trading stocks myself.

First, though, I did my research – I read Benjamin Graham’s classic “The Intelligent Investor, Peter Schiff’s “Crash Proof”, and many, many, blogs.

I did OK – I was up 58% my first year. After that, some years I beat the market, others I trailed it. I switched to a robo-advisor that trades for me in 2016, and it does pretty much the same thing I did on my own.

Why do I pay for something I could do myself? The main reason is that I can re-allocate all the brain cells I used to worry about my money and use them to focus on my career and family. When I was responsible for my own trades, I was always second-guessing myself, staying on top of the markets, and reading contrary views which might change my opinion. Now that I let an algorithm decide what to invest in, all I need to know is how much I pay to manage my money each month, and the minimum that I need to keep in my checking account to pay my bills. Because nearly all of my net worth is in individual stocks, not mutual funds or ETF’s, I know exactly what my costs are.

Sure, I could do the same thing myself — but my time is one of my most valuable assets. I want my money to work for me, instead of working for my money — and nothing works for free, even money. I don’t mind spending hours fixing an old computer to sell on eBay for a few bucks because I enjoy it – however, I don’t get the same satisfaction from trading my life savings.

If all goes well, by the time the fee to manage my money becomes my single largest expense, I will earn enough from my portfolio for it to become my primary income. Perhaps then I will take the reins again. Until then, I focus on maximizing my earnings and savings and let someone else worry about growing it.