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!



A decadent blueberry cheesecake kissed by lemon hiding inside a layer cake. Right in the center where the filling should be for a sweet surprise.
It’s a crustless cheesecake made with cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar, a ton of lemon zest and blueberries. Wild blueberries. They’re small and mighty, my favorite type of blueberry. Of course you can use whatever blueberries you like.
The cake is a super easy one-bowl yellow cake that comes together in the wink of an eye. Because there wasn’t enough cream cheese in the cheesecake I had to put more in the frosting along with butter, more lemon zest, confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream or milk.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Cake Recipe
A decadent lemon blueberry cheesecake inside a layer cake.

  • 16 ounces bar cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • the zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (preferably wild) (don't thaw if frozen)
  • 2 + ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 + ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 1 + ¼ cups milk
  • 3 + ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room-temperature
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 - 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half & half, plus more if needed
  • Optional:
  • fresh blueberries, to decorate the top
  • fresh whipped cream, for serving
Make the Cheesecake:
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter. Wrap the bottom in aluminum foil and set the pan inside a larger baking pan.
  • Beat the cream cheese until soft and fluffy on medium speed about 2 minutes.
  • On low speed beat in the sour cream and sugar until smooth and well combined.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time on medium speed. Beat in the lemon zest.
  • Stir in the blueberries. Pour into the pan. Fill the outer pan with hot water so it reaches halfway up the cheesecake pan.
  • Bake until set in the center and firm to the touch 50 - 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Cover and chill overnight.
Make the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat all the ingredients together using an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
  3. Divide equally between the two pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  4. Cool on wire racks 20 minutes then turn one of them out onto a cake platter and the other onto a piece of parchment. Cool completely.
  5. Make the Frosting:
  6. In a medium bowl beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and fluffy about 3 minutes on medium speed.
  7. Add a cup of confectioners' sugar at a time and beat 1 minute after each addition alternating with a small splash of the heavy cream until you get a thick spreading consistency.
  8. Beat an additional 5 minutes on low speed until light and super fluffy.
Assemble the Cake:
  1. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cake you set on the cake platter.
  2. Remove the ring from the cheesecake and run a butter knife around the edges if needed then use a thin spatula to help lift one side so you can get your hand under it.
  3. Place it on the cake. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the cheesecake and top with the remaining cake.
  4. Frost the cake (top with fresh blueberries, if you like). Chill at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Serve cold with a dollop of whipped cream if desired. Keep the leftovers refrigerated up to 4 days.


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