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Successful traders are always on the lookout for the next big trend. For those able to identify large societal shifts well before the market, there is potential for huge gains.

For instance, how much money would you have made if you had been able to predict the success of the Internet or the iPod? Or the 3D printer or electric car?

The extra bonus that comes with spotting a ‘supertrend’ is that it catches the imagination of investors everywhere. That leads to high expectations, exuberance and rapid price moves.

Here are 5 big trends to watch for the next 10 years:

#1. Megacities

Global populations are expected to grow rapidly over the next 10 years and much of that growth will take place in megacities. According to Bloomberg, there are already 28 urban areas with over 10 million inhabitants and that figure will more than double by 2030.

Much of this growth will take place in Asia and China is expected to hit a 60% urbanisation rate by 2020. One way to exploit this trend is to invest in inner-city real estate or with the Chinese Real Estate ETF($TAO). Be careful though as the fund is already up 14% this year already.

#2. Wind Power

The planet needs clean, renewable sources of energy and a lot of attention is given to hydro and solar solutions. The advantage of wind power is that it produces a high output for a small cost and it’s low maintenance.

One stock offering this exposure is Danish company Vestas Wind Systems ($VWS.CO). It’s the only global energy company dedicated exclusively to wind and is up over 40% since I tipped it in November of last year.

#3. Carbon Nanotechnologies

Carbon atoms in hexagonal shapes make up carbon nanotubes – a malleable and strong material with almost unlimited potential for development.

Scientists have said the technology could be used to build flexible circuits, install drug-delivery systems within the body, and even build bridges.

One way to invest is with FEI Company ($FEIC). The stock trades on the Nasdaq with a market cap of just over $3 billion.

#4. Biological Warfare

The world was thrown into panic last year when a deadly virus named Ebola started spreading across Africa and beyond.

The sheer interconnectedness of the planet means that a highly infectious disease could spread quickly and forcefully. Lakeland Industries ($LAKE) manufacture protective garments to withstand viruses and biological attack. The company saw its stock surge last year when Ebola broke out and is still a stock to watch.

#5. Robotic Medicine

Robotic knives allow surgeons to make much smaller incisions resulting in less scarring and pain for the patient, and this is part of a worldwide trend for more sophisticated and complex robotic procedures.

One option might be Intuitive Surgical Inc. ($ISRG), the company that manufactures the ‘da Vinci Surgical System’. This is a robotic system with HD vision and instruments that can bend far better than a human wrist.

JB Marwood is an independent trader and investor. For more big trends and trading ideas check out his blog at: decodingmarkets.com