2) I repeat, Boomers have done a crap-a$$ job of planning. The highly educated, skilled, mobile generation that was supposed to be the wealthiest ever, has instead seen trillions of $$$ evaporate from under them.
If you have NEVER used a fiduciary advisor, you have no idea what you are missing. Literally. I don't mean that in any sarcastic fashion. Until I went to work for a top-notch independent CFP, I had no idea what an amazing breadth of service is available to those who use one. It wasn't just hand-holding; it was focused on making busy people's lives easier and more efficient.
Certainly knowledgeable people can do financial planning themselves. I did it for myself and my spouse, and twenty years later can say I did a darn good job. But I also have a lot of financial services knowledge OUTSIDE of investing, such as insurance risk analysis. And that's what a CFP brings to the table – the ability to help you do a holistic risk analysis for your personal financial situation.
If you have never looked into what the training is for a CFP or ChFC, you might find it interesting. In a good year maybe 50% who take the CFP exam can pass it, after a two-year course of study. Even after passing it, you have to work a three year internship for a financial services firm, before you are able to actually claim CFP certification and list it as a credential.
Many, many years ago we did have a financial planner through a big brokerage. This started well over 20 years ago and ended about 15 years ago. This person is still an acquaintance of ours who we see socially on occasion. I would not exactly say that we were unhappy with the service, we just saw no reason to pay the fees/commissions when alternatives became available. Back then if you wanted to buy a mutual fund, stock, or bond you basically went to a broker.
After moving to etrade we had to do a lot more on our own. We had to learn a lot. We did. We read widely, not just popular fluff but a lot of very technical stuff. I got an MBA in finance and learned a great deal about derivative analysis. In the late 90s I came close to taking a job as a credit risk analyst for a big derivatives firm in London. But I decided I wouldn't like the weather even for 250+ GBP a year. And even then I could see that the house of cards would be collapsing soon.
Now, I'm not a boy wonder or anything, I just took it upon myself to learn the stuff. I'd say it wasn't rocket science but, well, actually, it was. The Ito calculus came pretty easily to me as an engineer that actually had studied rocket science. I think anyone with a decent math background can learn necessary skills.
I actually did dig up an actual CFP exam a couple of years ago, not exactly through kosher means but I was curious enough to spend a couple of bucks for it. I found it very easy even without any kind of prep course. But as I said, I do have an MBA, a strong mathematical analysis background, and I've read one of the standard law school texts from the late 90s on securities law so I probably have a slight advantage. But again, there is nothing about that that anyone can't do.
Boomers have not done so well. Part of that is because they thought the rules had changed. They thought that stocks valued at 200 times earnings were cheap and real estate prices would go up forever. I never thought any of that made sense. But my observation is that almost no one in the financial services industry was running for the exits at the peak. The party line was that things could keep growing. Do you think those who used planners did any better than those who didn't?
We've got a lawyer and an accountant to take care of our specialty needs. We do our own insurance analysis because we understand our needs. We are well insured in the areas that we need. The insurance people try to convince us that life is scary and we need more. A honest discussion with our lawyer and our own analysis says otherwise. I noted your post about LTC insurance. That's something that could be of interest but, contrary to your experience, for those attempting to buy now, even at a young age, the prices are not attractive.
Now, we might actually be looking into some specialty services in the near future, likely a private bank rather than a CFP (think Northern Trust or JPM). I've been doing some research in that area. There are some interesting independent professionals out there as well. Our reason for looking has nothing to do with investing per se or seeking expertise but I won't go into what it is here. I note though that they all seem to want to draw in as much of your life as possible. Inquire about a checking account and their response invariably tells you that they will also get you a new lawyer, plan the succession of your business, and tell you which charities to support. That's a major turnoff!
But I'm not knocking what you are saying. A good financial planner could probably be helpful for many people and could be worth their cost. I would just caution people to be very careful to make sure the planner has their best interests in mind and is not just a salesman with a rolodex. If you got $100000 and spend 1%, $1000 a year on financial guidance that's probably better for your well being than spending $1000 a year on a gym membership, yoga sessions, and a personal trainer and many people do just that. I also think that it is in everyone's best interest to learn to manage their own affairs even if they do hire a CFP because they will always have their own interests in mind.