Renowned investors like Jim Chanos and Kyle Bass made fortunes off legendary trades. Chanos did it betting against Enron. Bass did it by trading against the subprime housing market.
You might not have a sea of money, multiple Bloomberg and Reuters terminals at your desk and a team made up of scary-smart analysts to guide you through.
But you can do it, too, says financial writer and trader Vincent Veneziani, the author of "The Greatest Trades of All Time."
Like the Wall Street Titans on CNBC, a retail trader needs to do some homework and stick with an asset class with which he or she is familiar.
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"Anybody can be a great trader. You just have to hone your skills, stick with what you know and be really disciplined in your ways," Veneziani tells Newsmax.TV.
"Don't go getting into things that you don't understand or different instruments that you might not have the capital for and never really overextend yourself. One of the mantras that nearly everybody in the book talks about is cut your losses short and let your winners ride."
Timing is everything today, especially.
"I think the one theme that runs throughout the book throughout the entire time has to do with timing," Veneziani says of the subjects profiled in his book, who also include George Soros, Paul Tudor Jones, John Paulson and David Einhorn.
"It's all about the timing of the trade. A lot of these guys, what they did was they made their thesis, they came up with their trading idea and they executed at just the right time."
Take Europe, where leaders are working on expanding its bailout fund, officially known as the European Financial Stability Facility, to prevent countries like Greece from defaulting and sending shockwaves through the global financial system.
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Uncertainty in Europe is fueling volatility around the world, and nobody knows for sure what will happen.
Opportunities are sure to emerge.
"When something good or compromise gets reached in Europe, it tends to send the markets back up. So right now, I think that Europe is definitely in play. It might be more suited for some of the more sophisticated, institutional guys, but the retail guys can certainly play the U.S. stock market on the indices and ride the wave and news out of Europe."
Playing an index could entail investing in an exchange-traded fund (ETF), a security that is purchased like a stock and gives partial ownership of an index or a basket of assets.
For example, an S&P 500 Index ETF moves in line with that index itself, while a gold ETF moves in line with the price of gold.
And when things are good, it's okay to consider to keep an eye on the crowd.
When a bull market ends, then consider bucking the trend.
"When you are in the middle of a bull market with low volatility and nearly every day everything seems to be going up, you might as well try not to buck the trend or you are going to get caught in a trap. But in periods of increased volatility like we have now, it does help to buck the trend once in a while."
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