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!

COOKIE MONSTER CUPCAKES

COOKIE MONSTER CUPCAKES
My youngest turned one way back in September and we had a Cookie Monster party for him as a family. My kids love Sesame Street and Cookie Monster is one of their favorite characters. It only seemed right to focus his little party around that furry cookie fanatic!
These cupcakes are perfect for a Cookie Monster party because they’re so easy to put together. No crazy piping of fur or drawing on silly eyeballs. They’re one of my favorite cupcakes I’ve made. And my kids thought they were hilarious.
Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 24 white cupcake liners
  • 2 packages large candy eyeballs
  • 1 package miniature Chips Ahoy Cookies
  • Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 c. butter, softened but not to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 (7oz) jar marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • blue food coloring
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners into muffin cups.
  2. Place cake mix in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add buttermilk, oil, and eggs. Mix to combine well.
  3. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and set cupcakes on cooling rack to cool.
  4. Prepare the frosting by placing the butter in a medium/large bowl. Beat the butter with a mixer until nice and fluffy. Add a small amount of food coloring.
  5. Add the powdered sugar about a 1/2 c. at a time till well combined with the butter. Then add the almond extract and marshmallow fluff. Add more food coloring if a darker blue is desired.
  6. Place the frosting in a 16oz frosting bag fixed with a Wilton 1M star tip. Pipe frosting evenly over cupcakes in a swirl motion and top with two candy eyeballs. Then press a cookie into the front of the frosting.
Recipe Adapted From cupcakediariesblog.com

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