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!


Perfectly soft and slightly sweet cornbread made with pure pumpkin and maple syrup. Cooking it in the slow cooker adds moisture and frees up your oven.

Instead of butternut squash and honey like the original version, I wanted to change things up a bit by using pumpkin and maple syrup this time around.

Making cornbread in the slow cooker along with buttermilk and pumpkin in the batter helps to keep it wonderfully soft and tender. The flavor is terrific on its own but also pairs perfectly with a big bowl of chili or enjoy it slathered with some butter.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Maple Cornbread Recipe 
Perfectly soft and slightly sweet cornbread made with pure pumpkin and maple syrup. Cooking it in the slow cooker adds moisture and frees up your oven.

  • 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour measured correctly - spoon + sweep method
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup* see notes
  • 1 large egg lightly whisked
  • 2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons buttermilk** see notes
  1. Line the slow cooker with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter with maple syrup. Beat in egg until incorporated. Whisk in pumpkin puree and then the buttermilk.
  3. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined (do not overmix - it is okay to see a small amount of flour)
  4. Pour batter into the lined slow cooker and smooth down with an offset spatula. Place lid on top.
  5. Cook on low for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or on high for 1.5-2 hours or until edges are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (The time may be slightly different depending on your slow cooker - mine took 1.5 hours).
  6. Once cooked, lift entire foil with cornbread out from the slow cooker and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut and serve with chili, maple syrup or your favorite buttery spread.
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


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