While stocks feel like an old-fashioned investment opportunity, it’s anything but easy for your average joe. The market is volatile, business’s stock trends can act unpredictable, and no one wants to take a gamble with their money. After stock market crashes throughout the early 2000s, a shift occurred. People now realize that without proper research and development, stocks don’t act as a guaranteed profit. On the flipside of the coin though, if people dig into educating themselves on smart stocks or enlist professionals, people can make massive profits off of playing the market.

What You Need to Know

You don’t need to dive in head first. Investors can start small and work their way up to more expensive or risky stocks. For many, you can buy shares for under 200 Malaysian Ringgit. Before you run off to shop though consider these aspects:

Calculate Long-Term Trends

Most investors buy in for the long-haul. As a result, you need to play the long game. Minor fluctuations and changes become part of the process and don’t necessarily sound the alarms. You want to focus on the long-term trends that pose to influence the success of stocks. These trends could relate to a specific demographic or location, but these large audiences’ wide adoption help to identify smart investments. As Sarah Max says, “Today investment strategists and economists know all too well that demographics play a profound role in the fortunes of economies, markets, industries, stocks, and ultimately investors. It stands to reason that if investing is about figuring out what the world might look like in a decade or two—so you can determine who the winners and losers will be before it becomes clear—you can’t ignore cultural, social, and generational patterns when it comes to your portfolio.