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!

Trendy, Fun & Fast Mother’s Day Cupcakes

Trendy, Fun & Fast Mother’s Day Cupcakes

Every mom deserves a special handmade gift — and you can make one, even if you’re short on time! With only a few tools and ingredients, you can make these simple and sweet cupcakes for Mother’s Day.

By Lynlee North Beckett
May 4, 2018
Tools you need:
Fondant rolling pin with 1/8″ and 1/16″ guide rings
Multi-ribbon fondant cutter
2 ¼” round fluted cutter
Multi-sized flower fondant mold

Ingredients:
  • Fondant in black, white, different shades of pink and light green
  • White soft gel paste, vodka and brush
  • Water or edible glue and brush
PART 1: MAKING THE STRIPED BACKGROUNDS
Step 1:
Roll out white fondant with the rolling pin and ¼” guide rings. Then use a multi-ribbon cutter to cut several strips at once from the white fondant.
This tool can be extremely useful, as it saves time while ensuring the strips are consistent in size. You’ll need 4-5 strips of each color for each topper.
Repeat this step for the black fondant. Place them in an air-tight container to keep them soft and malleable.
Step 2:
Once you have all your strips cut out, roll out a thin piece of white fondant with the rolling pin and 1/16″ guide rings.
Step 3:
Make a light indentation in the white fondant with the 2¼” fluted cutter to use as a guideline.
Apply water or edible glue to the marked portion of the white fondant, then begin to glue the strips down, alternating between black and white.
Apply additional water as needed, but be sure not to use too much, as it can easily seep in between each color!
Step 4:
Once all the fondant strips are glued, use the 2¼” fluted cutter to punch out a circle from the patterned fondant. Allow the topper to dry to make sure the strips are glued properly. Add a tiny bit of water in between strips only if necessary.

PART 2: MAKE THE CHALKBOARD TOPPERS
Step 5:
Roll out black fondant with the rolling pin and 1/8″ guide rings. Punch out a circle with the 2¼” fluted cutter and allow the topper to dry, preferably overnight.
Step 6:
Mix the white soft gel paste with a little bit of vodka (the alcohol will evaporate). Dip your brush in the mixture and brush off the excess. Then go ahead and paint your word, name or personalized message onto the dried fondant.
If you use too much of the mixture at once, it won’t have the “chalky” effect. If preferred, you could also substitute the paint with white chocolate melts.
Be sure to allow room for your floral accents later!

PART 3: MAKE THE FLORAL ACCENTS
Step 7:
Fondant molds, like as this flower mold I used for this project, can be extremely easy to use and a huge time-saver. The key is finding one with the sizes you need. Larger flowers designed for cakes would probably be too big for cupcake toppers.
Press the shades of pink fondant into the flower mold. You can coat the fondant with either vegetable shortening or cornstarch to keep them from sticking to the mold.
Removing the fondant may be a bit tricky, depending on how detailed your mold is. If you’re having trouble, place your mold into the freezer for a few minutes, which will make it much easier to remove! Just be sure to allow it a couple of minutes to defrost before handling it or it will be super sticky.
Step 8:
Roll the light green fondant into a small ball. With your fingers, mold it into a teardrop shape, then flatten and shape it to look like a leaf. Repeat for as many leaves you need for your design.
Step 9:
Finally, glue the flowers and leaves to both the striped and chalkboard cupcake toppers and allow them to dry thoroughly prior to decorating your Mother’s Day cupcakes.

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