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 Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
Everyone needs a delicious coffee cake recipe in their repertoire, and this cinnamon streusel coffee cake recipe is the perfect option. Meaning "something strewn" in Old German, streusel is easy to throw together -- and then to throw on top of this sour-cream coffee cake. The sweet glaze in the recipe is the perfect coffee cake topping.
INGREDIENTS
FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING AND CENTER
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Coarse salt
  • Great Value Salt, 26 oz
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  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans
FOR THE CAKE
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
FOR THE GLAZE
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

DIRECTIONS
  1. Make the streusel topping: Mix together flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small to medium clumps form. Mix in 1/2 cup pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make the streusel center: Mix together remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup pecans.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter a 9-inch tube pan with a removable bottom. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl.
  4. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour. Continue to beat until well combined.
  5. Spoon half the batter into pan. Sprinkle streusel center mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter, and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Sprinkle streusel topping mixture evenly over batter.
  6. Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Remove cake from pan, and transfer to parchment.
  7. Make the glaze: Mix together confectioners' sugar and milk. Drizzle over cake, and let drip down sides. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

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