It's smart to consider some broad trends that will develop in the coming decades.
Below are a few that many market watchers believe will play out over that time period, along with 5 ways to profit from them:
Whether you think emerging markets will bring the next global boom or are simply overhyped, the rise of billions of people in emerging economies means one thing: More people are going to need more things. In particular, companies that produce the raw materials used for all sorts of necessities will be poised to profit in the decades to come.
For instance, Commercial Metals [NYSE: CMC] recycles, manufactures, and distributes steel and metal. It also boasts a 2.9% dividend.
Similarly, the Vanguard Energy ETF [NYSE: VDE] owns a basket of oil and gas drillers, exploration, and refining companies. It should profit tremendously as demand for oil and gas spikes in these emerging economies.
An aging population will need more health care, which supports not only obvious picks like high-yielding Merck [NYSE: MRK] but also riskier plays.
And pharmaceutical up and comer Warner Chilcott [Nasdaq: WCRX] recently paid its first semi-annual dividend.
Just because you should take some risk doesn't mean you should take too much risk. It makes sense to balance risky plays like the ones above with some more secure picks.
Companies with a long history of paying ever-increasing dividends are a good place to round out your stock portfolio.
Procter & Gamble [NYSE: PG] has raised its dividend each year for the past 50 years. More importantly, it boasts a strong stable of products that people use and rely on. That doesn't mean you can blindly buy and forget about it, but you don't necessarily have to keep an eye on it as much as you might with less established companies.
This isn't the only stock that has raised its dividend over the past 50 years.
For 5 more stocks that have also boosted their dividends -- and will likely continue to do so over the next 50 years -- click below.