Right, all that "planning" is, sorry to say, usually complete bullcrap.
"Business" planning? Leave it to the CPA's and the attorneys. I assume you are talking about ownership, control, governance, and taxation issues (if you are referring to business operations, then !!!!)
"Tax" planning? MAYBE, within a very narrow range of application, from among known options. Nothing sophisticated, again turn to real accountants and attorneys, especially for cross-jurisdictional issues.
"Estate" planning? Again, accountants and attorneys, WORKING TOGETHER. Simplistic suggestions in simple situations don't count, and there, the web can offer as much or more information and guidance than can a CFP.
"Retirement" planning is so much hot air. It can be measured only where the rubber hits the road, in dollars and cents. Show me the benefit. And don't give me any "lifestyle consultant" stuff.
I know more than 1 CFP, and I can tell you that they talk big, just like those things you mentioned, until they run up against somebody who actually knows something specific in one or more of those areas.
Regarding cash and high-quality bonds...show me how cash has outperformed a good index fund over the past year, including dividends...high-quality bonds I will grant you over the past year, but that's slicing the baloney pretty thinly to get the result you want. How about 2, 3, 4, or 5 years? You want to keep that slice and talk about gold? Same thing. And high-quality bond yields continue to sink to de minimus levels, where they either only barely offset inflation, or actually do not even match inflation. That is not a practical investment, it is a last-ditch attempt at wealth preservation. As is cash.
Like it or not Igy, we are stuck with the equity market. Yes, there is the bond market, and yes it has its place. Fair enough, we can lump the 2 of them together--and just as you argue that equities are currently overpriced, I can argue that bond yields are currently too low. There is FOREX but it is not "practical" for anybody but banks.
agip, looks like you got taken to the woodshed by Jambalaya, who did a fine job as far as I'm concerned, although I don't think that EVERYTHING you have written has had a rainbows and unicorns bias. :)
Home price and consumer data were predictable, as the Fed needs to build pretext to the coming rate increase. Sure, cherry-pick a few thin baloney slices and ignore everything else, and it can be done. The good thing is that when I see them do things like that, I feel that it's more likely that there will be a rate increase than not, because they are really trying hard to justify one. And that sort of predictability is a good thing.