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!

LEAFY LATTICE CAKE

LEAFY LATTICE CAKE

Sometimes the simple designs are the most striking, and that’s certainly true with this Leafy Lattice Cake. A lovely cake for Mother’s Day, birthday celebrations or even for a garden party or spring brunch, this garden-inspired cake features leaves made a day in advance, so decorating is easy breezy the day of the party. Personalize your lattice cake with a message or leave it as is for a visually appealing centerpiece that’s sure to be the talk of the town!


SKILL LEVEL: NONE

Step 1
One day in advance, make leaves. Prepare royal icing following recipe instructions. Combine Leaf Green and Moss Green icing colors to get light green color shown. Combine Kelly Green and Black icing colors to get medium green color shown. Combine Moss Green and Royal Blue icing colors to get dark green color shown.Tint ¼ cup icing each light green, medium green and dark green following color combinations provided. Prepare decorating bag with tip 101s; fill with small amounts of light, medium and dark green icings, allowing colors to mix in bag. On wax paper-covered board, pipe 200 to 210 petals and leaves (follow Apple Blossom, Daisy and Violet techniques for piping petals). Let dry overnight, at least 8 to 10 hours.

Step 2
Bake cake. Prepare cake batter following recipe instructions. Bake and cool two cake layers, trimming one layer to 2½ in. for a 5 in. high cake. Using creamy decorator icing spatula ice cake smooth, leaving icing on sides of cake slightly thicker than top.

Step 3
Make lattice design. Hold Icing Smoother against side of cake at 45 degree angle. Using toothpick mark lines around cake, spaced about 1½ in. apart. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Step 4
Decorate cake. Combine Brown and Moss Green icing colors to get brown color shown. Using Brown icing color, tint ¼ cup icing brown. Prepare decorating bag with tip 1 and brown icing. Starting at bottom of cake, pipe vines along toothpick marks. Pipe additional branches coming off vines, if desired. Branches should only reach about ½ way up the cake.Remove leaves and petals from wax paper. Position bigger leaves in bigger clusters at bottom of cake. Decrease amount and size of leaves towards top of vines and branches.

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