It's no secret that investing in some of the big overarching trends as they wash over society has put many investors on the road to Easy Street. E-commerce, digital payments, streaming video, and software-as-a-service are just some examples of secular trends that consumers have adopted in large and growing numbers. Those looking for the "next big thing" might be missing the forest for the trees.

On this episode of Fool Live that aired on Nov. 30, 2020, Fool.com contributors Danny Vena and Brian Withers discuss the next big secular trend and how to profit from it.

Brian Withers: Danny, I like this question from Living It Large. "What do you think could be the next big thing?"

Danny Vena: I think we are already living in the next big thing. If you go back a couple of years and think about or several years and think about where Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) was, and how people were saying, "Amazon has already grown to this big, how could it possibly grow any bigger? Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has already grown to this big, how could it possibly grow any bigger? MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) has grown this big with all the political instability in Latin America and other reasons, how could it grow any bigger?"

I think what we're seeing is, and I've got a list that I keep nearby my desk that has things on it like streaming video, mobile games, digital payments, e-commerce, software-as-a-service, and what those things all have in common is, none of these are new, none of these things are the latest thing down the pike.

They've been around for a little while, they've been building, and they are the next big thing because if you look at the adoption rates for e-commerce are accelerating. If you look at cord-cutting, it's accelerating. The adoption of streaming video is accelerating. The adoption of digital payments is accelerating. All of these things are not new, but they are the next big thing.

I would encourage investors to learn as much as they can about these areas of the economy, the digital economy. The digital transformation is ongoing, and I think that knowing these things, being comfortable with them, and investing in them could be very good moves for your portfolio several years from now.

Withers: Yeah, I was writing about Amazon over the summer and realized that they sold their first book 25 years ago. I know that MercadoLibre, got started in 1999, so it's just over a little bit of 20 years old, but the businesses, there's still so much opportunity for these kind of companies. That's really great answer, Danny. I love it.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.