The investable assets of U.S. consumers have fully recovered from the financial meltdown of 2008, presenting wealth managers with one of the best opportunities within the financial services industry—particularly for those who serve the wealthiest clients. That's the view of Chip Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, which uses research and case studies on hundreds of corporate, venture capital and private equity clients to take the current pulse of the investment industry. "Wealth management is possibly the best opportunity in financial services" right now, said Roame, who presented his latest findings at his firm's Tiburon CEO Summit XXV in San Francisco in October.

The non-retirement investable assets of Americans rose to $34 trillion in the second quarter of this year, according to the latest federal data, up more than 40% from the same period in 2008. Retirement assets, meanwhile, have risen more than 30% since the nadir of the recession to $18 trillion, according to Roame. And U.S. net worth reached $75 trillion in the second quarter—up 20% since 2008. "Now that's a recovery," Roame said. even as he acknowledged that the U.S. economic recovery of the last five years has been uneven.

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