It's possible to trade profitably on the Forex, the nearly $2 trillion worldwide currency exchange market. But the odds are against you, even more so if you don't prepare and plan your trades. According to a 2014 Bloomberg report, several analyses of retail Forex trading, including one by the National Futures Association (NFA), the industry's regulatory body, concluded that more than two out of three Forex traders lose money. This suggests that self-education and caution are recommended. Here are some approaches that may improve your odds of taking a profit. Prepare Before You Begin Trading Because the Forex market is highly leveraged -- as much as 50 to 1 -- it can have the same appeal as buying a lottery ticket: some small chance of making a killing. This, however, isn't trading; it's gambling, with the odds long against you. A better way of entering the Forex market is to carefully prepare. Beginning with a practice account is helpful and risk-free. While you're trading in your practice account, read the most frequently recommended Forex trading books, among them Currency Forecasting: A Guide to Fundamental and Technical Models of Exchange Rate Determination, by Michael R. Rosenberg is short, not too sweet and highly admired introduction to the Forex market. Forex Strategies: Best Forex Strategies for High Profits and Reduced Risk, by Matthew Maybury is an excellent introduction to Forex trading. The Little Book of Currency Trading: How to Make Big Profits in the World of Forex, by Kathy Lien is another concise introduction that has stood the test of time. All three are available on Amazon. Rosenberg's book, unfortunately, is pricey, but it's widely available in public libraries. "Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude," by Mark Douglas is another good book that's available on Amazon, and, again, somewhat pricey, although the Kindle edition is not. Use the information gained from your reading to plan your trades before plunging in. The more you change your plan, the more you end up in trouble and the less likely that elusive forex profit will end up in your pocket. Diversify and Limit Your Risks Two strategies that belong in every trader's arsenal are: Diversification: Traders who execute many small traders, particularly in different markets where the correlation between markets is low, have a better chance of making a profit. Putting all your money in one big trade is always a bad idea. Familiarize yourself with ways guaranteeing a profit on an already profitable order, such as a trailing stop, and of limiting losses using stop and limit orders. These strategies and more are covered in the recommended books. Novice traders often make the mistake of concentrating on how to win; it's even more important to understand how to limit your losses. Be Patient Forex traders, particularly beginners, are prone to getting nervous if a trade does not go their way immediately, or if the trade goes into a little profit they get itchy to pull the plug and walk away with a small profit that could have been a significant profit with little downside risk using appropriate risk reduction strategies. In "On Any Given Sunday," Al Pacino reminds us that "football is a game of inches." That's a winning attitude in the Forex market as well. Remember that you are going to win some trades and lose others. Take satisfaction in the accumulation of a few more wins than losses. Over time, that could make you rich!

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream

This Chocolate Cake is perfect for a party!  Moist chocolate cake layers, filled and frosted with a sweet and delicate raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream, for a pretty pink dessert that’s sure to delight! 

When it comes to desserts, I’ve got two top favorite categories: one is sweet/salty and the other is chocolate/fruit.  Chocolate and raspberry is a gorgeous combination and it works beautifully in this towering triple-layer beauty.  Besides being lovely for your Valentine, I think it would be equally fitting for a bridal or baby shower, a little girl’s birthday party, or even for Mother’s Day.

The cake itself is rich and deeply chocolate-y.  It’s actually just this cupcake recipe, baked in three 8-inch round cake pans.  The recipe is tried and true.  It is, hands-down, the most popular recipe on my site.  Everyone loves it because it’s easy to make, moist, and the flavor is off the charts.  When combined with a subtly sweet, light and fruity raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream, it’s just dreamy.

Ingredients
FOR THE CAKE
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
   
FOR THE FROSTING*
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
Instructions
Make the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Generously mist three 8-inch diameter by 3-inch high cake pans with non-stick spray, and line with circles cut from parchment paper.
  2. Place the sugar, flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to combine.  
  3. Cut the butter into smaller pieces and add it to the dry ingredients.   Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand (30 seconds to a minute).  
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.  
  5. When all of the eggs are fully incorporated, add the Greek yogurt and vanilla, and beat on medium speed for about 60 to 90 seconds, to aerate the batter and strengthen the cake's structure.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean or with one or two moist crumbs.  Cool completely, then fill and frost with raspberry buttercream.
Make the frosting:
  1. Puree the thawed berries in a food processor, then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the seeds.  
  2. Place the puree in a small pot and cook on medium-low heat until thickened and reduced by about half.  You should have about 1/4 cup of cooked puree.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Place the egg whites and sugar in a large mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  
  4. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is smooth, thin, and translucent, and it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between the thumb and forefinger.  
  5. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk on medium-high speed until fluffy and stiff, and no hint of warmth remains when you place your hand on the side of the bowl.  
  6. Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whipping after each addition.  If the mixture seems runny, place it in the refrigerator for 10 to 20 minutes, then re-whip.  When all the butter has been added and the mixture is fluffy and spreadable, stir in the cooled raspberry puree until fully incorporated.
Recipe Adapted From bakingamoment.com

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