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!

CREAMY LEEK & MUSHROOM PIE (VEGAN)

One of the recipes I created was this Creamy Mushroom & Leek Pie, which is so easy to make and absolutely divine. One of my new favourites.


Look how crispy and delicious it is! I’ve tried numerous things in the past to get this finish and finally tried aquafaba (the liquid from tinned legumes – more info here) and it works perfectly. Not only does it give this beautiful golden colour, but it also has a natural gluey texture which helps stick the pastry to the dish.

CREAMY LEEK & MUSHROOM PIE (VEGAN) RECIPE
Creamy mushrooms and leeks encased in a crispy, golden pie crust. Delicious, filling and a great choice to serve to both vegans and meat-eaters!



INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks trimmed and sliced into discs
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 500 g button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
FOR THE SAUCE
  • 1 tbsp dairy-free butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 350 ml dairy-free milk
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
FOR THE PASTRY
  • 1 roll vegan puff pastry
  • 4 tbsp aquafaba (liquid from a tin chickpeas or other legume) or just 4 tbsp dairy-free milk, for glazing
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Add the olive oil to a large saucepan on a medium heat. Fry the leeks and garlic for 2 minutes, to soften. 
  2. Add the mushrooms, herbs, salt and pepper and stir for a minute. Place the lid on top and cook for 8 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the dairy-free butter on medium heat. Add the flour and stir until combined. Slowly add in the milk, a tablespoon at a time and whisk, until you have a smooth thick mixture. Stir in the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper
  4. Combine the cooked leeks and mushrooms with the sauce and leave to cool completely
  5. Make sure your puff pastry is at room temperature (if using frozen, leave at room temperature overnight) and preheat the oven to 200C. 
  6. Add the leek and mushroom mixture to a pie dish and top with the puff pastry, cutting off any excess pastry around the edges. 
  7. Crimp the edges using a fork and score a criss-cross pattern on the top with a sharp knife. Finally, dip a pastry brush in the aquafaba  (or a little dairy-free milk) and brush the top of the pie, to help it brown, plus secure the edge of the pie crust to the dish.
  8. Cook for 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve straight away. 

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