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!

CREAMSICLE-INSPIRED ICE CREAM LAYER CAKE

Summers at my grandparent’s house always meant trips to the store owned by Mr. Lovell Brooks near their home in the cotton mill village.  In the front of the store, to the right of the door as you entered, was a chest-type freezer where Mr. Brooks kept ice creams. We weren’t allowed to pick out an ice cream every time we were in the store, but we certainly maximized each opportunity we had. I never had to think about my selection. I went straight for a Creamsicle: vanilla ice cream on a stick with an orange sherbet coating. To share this childhood favorite flavor with my grandchildren,  I whipped up a Creamsicle-Inspired Ice Cream Layer Cake during one of their visits.

It’s not like I went to any trouble to do this, either.  I purchased a frozen pound cake loaf, orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream. This is a fine example of a lazy day dessert. A mighty fine example. It  requires very little thinking on your part. You need to use a few brain cells and remember to make this in enough time to allow for it to firm up before serving, but that’s about all the thinking and planning required.

I don’t know what attracted me to Creamsicles in the first place. Maybe it’s the orange sherbet part. Remember Push-ups?  They’re orange sherbet in a small cylinder shaped container and you push it up from the bottom as you eat the sherbet.  That was always my selection on ice cream day at school.
You can switch up the sherbet and ice creams flavors anyway  you choose.  Of course, it wouldn’t be Creamsicle-inspired if you go that route. However, it will  be YOU inspired and that’s even better.

Ingredients

  • yield: approximately 8 servings
  • The inspiration for this treat is one of my favorite childhood ice creams on a stick called Creamsicle. It is vanilla ice cream coated with orange sherbet. Using a store-bought frozen pound cake along with vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet, this frozen treat is no-fuss. The hardest part is waiting for it to firm up in the freezer.
  • 1 (16 ounce) frozen All Butter Pound Cake
  • orange sherbet, approx. 1 pint, softened
  • vanilla ice cream, approx. 1 pint, softened


Instructions

  1. Remove pound cake from pan. Slice lengthwise into three layers. I didn't have trouble slicing it frozen. If it's too hard for you, let it sit out just a few minutes and try again.
  2. Place a piece of wax paper in the pan with about 4 inches excess on both long sides of the pan.
  3. Return one layer of cake to the pan. Dot with dollops of sherbet and ice cream. Swirl.
  4. Repeat with remaining two layers of pound cake, sherbet and ice cream.
  5. Cover the top of the finished cake with wax paper. Freeze until firm.

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