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We continue to live in uncertain times. In the first half of 2010, the global economic recovery has gathered momentum, particularly in the emerging markets. But severe fiscal problems in Greece and elsewhere confirm an underlying fragility.

Executive summary 2 of 17 The Changing Wealth of Nations

Residents of the United States, please read this important information before proceeding

Please read this important information before proceeding.

Uncertainty has prompted a new "wealth consciousness" in high net worth individuals around the globe. As we start the new decade, wealthy investors are both reconsidering their attitudes towards the process of investment, and towards what they expect from it.

As this report makes clear, the wealthy are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about how they invest. As "engaged investors", they want to question the rationale and risks that lie behind their investment approach. The notion of a completely hands-off investor seems increasingly out of date.

The wealthy also want different results from their investments. The growing importance of wealthy individuals based in the emerging markets is helping to crystallise a change in attitude. Spending priorities are changing, and there is a rising interest in the social implications of wealth - as demonstrated through a hands-on and often innovative approach to philanthropic activity.

With new attitudes, new priorities and an increasingly rigorous approach to both wealth management and wealth transfer, this looks set to be a transformational decade for wealth.

The aim of this report, the 11th volume in the Insights series, is to examine how the global downturn has affected high net worth individuals around the world, and explore some considerable differences in outlook for the decade ahead.

Based on a survey of more than 2,000 high net worth individuals, the report delves into what wealth means in a post-downturn world. It draws on insights from leading economic thinkers to shape a view of what it means to be wealthy, and the role that wealth plays as we progress through this decade.