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!

cinnamon spiced sugar cookies with browned butter frosting

Cookies...soft, sweet, loaded with cinnamon flavor, so delicious and so easy! Because it's basically October...and time for all things pumpkin!
Super cute pumpkin shaped sugar cookies...soft, sweet, loaded with cinnamon flavor, so delicious and so easy! Because it's basically October...and time for all things pumpkin! 
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • BROWNED BUTTER FROSTING
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until evenly combined. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, beating until combined and the dough forms a ball.
  2. Generously flour your work surface. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disk. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure you are using enough flour or your dough will stick. Cut out the cookies into your desired shapes. Carefully transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet and place the sheet in the freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15-20 minutes. Roll out the leftover scraps, and repeat with the remaining disk of dough.
  3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 8-12 minutes (for soft cookies) or until just lightly golden brown. Do not over bake. Cool on the baking sheet five minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting. Add the butter to medium pot. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir often. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 minutes. Whisk in the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons water, the vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth, adding 1 tablespoon of water to think the frosting as needed. If the frosting gets too thin, just add a little more sugar and if it gets too thick, add a splash of water. The frosting should be thin enough to drizzle, but think enough to hold it's shape.
  5. Frost each cooled cookie. If making pumpkins, I used melted chocolate to draw on the pumpkin "leaves". Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar. Keep cookies covered in an air tight container for up to 4 days.
Recipe Adapted From halfbakedharvest.com

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