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!


These chocolate peppermint cookie cups are the perfect make ahead treat for the holidays. Dark chocolate cookies filled with a whipped peppermint cheescake and topped with crushed candy canes!
These cookie cups are a spin off of the Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies I made last year. These cookies are crazy popular on the blog right now, and I can understand why. Chocolate and mint is one of the best combos out there! And candy canes just scream holiday season. You really can’t go wrong.

The filling for these Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Cups is a peppermint infused cheesecake mousse that goes perfectly well with the dark chocolate cookies. I use black cocoa powder to give my chocolate cookies that deep, rich color and as a bonus it also gives them a bit of an Oreo flavour.
I topped them all off with some chopped candy cane for a bit of extra flare, but you could leave this off.

I used red color gel and a food-safe paint brush to stripe the inside of the pastry bag to create the candy cane swirl.
You can freeze these for up to 4 weeks, but leave the chopped candy cane off when freezing and sprinkle that on before serving.
These Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Cups are the perfect make-ahead treat for the holidays! | 
Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Cups Recipe
These Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Cups are the perfect make-ahead treat for the holidays. Dark chocolate cookies filled with a whipped peppermint cheesecake and topped with crushed candy canes!

Chocolate Cookie Cups:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
  • 1/4 cup black cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Peppermint Cheesecake Filling:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream chilled
  • 8 oz cream cheese full fat
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • red color gel
  • candy canes chopped
Chocolate Cookie Cups:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray two regular sized cupcake tins with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powders, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugars on med-high until light and fluffy (approx. 2-3mins). Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop (3 Tbsp) scoop dough into muffin tins.
  5. Bake for approx. 10-13mins or until mostly set, but still soft in the middle.
  6. Remove from oven and immediately use a small jar or container to press firmly down in the center to create a well. 
  7. Cool in pans for 10mins, loosen each slightly by twisting it in the pan. Cool for 5 more minutes then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Peppermint Cheesecake Filling:
  1. Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks (ideally with a cold whisk and in a cold bowl).
  2. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. 
  3. Add whipped cream into cream cheese mixture and beat until combined.
  4. Using a small food-safe paintbrush, paint two stripes on the inside of a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Carefully fill with cheesecake filling.
  5. Pipe a swirl into cooled cookie cups and refrigerate until set (approx. 1-2 hours).
  6. Sprinkle with chopped candy canes if desired.
  7. Serve chilled and eat within 2-3 days. Or freeze for up to 4 weeks (without chopped candy cane).


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