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!

Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Classic delicious buttery shortbread cookies filled with chunks of rich semi-sweet chocolate, plenty of vanilla and a crisp coating of coarse sugar around the edges

Author: Tricia

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not over measure!)
  • 4 ounces coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for coating the dough log)
  • 1/4 cup turbinado or other coarse sugar for rolling
  • Fine flake sea salt for garnish, optional


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the soft butter with an electric mixer for 1 minute or until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Blend on medium until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and blend again.Add the flour in four additions and mix on low speed until incorporated. The dough will seem a little dry, but keep mixing as it comes together.Add the chopped chocolate to the cookie dough and mix together using a wooden spoon, or you can fold it in using your hands.
  2. Place the dough on a large piece of parchment paper. Form the dough into a log 12-inches long and about 1 1/2-inches thick. Wrap the dough tightly in the parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. To bake preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator while preparing the egg wash. Whisk together the egg and water. Lightly brush the entire log with the egg wash. Pour the coarse sugar down the middle of a piece of parchment or wax paper. Roll the dough log in the sugar to coat, pressing down firmly to adhere. Using a large, thin, sharp knife, slice the log into 24 (1/2-inch) rounds. Place the cookies on the prepared cookies sheets, about 1-inch apart. They don’t spread much so no worries. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with sea salt, if using. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until the they are starting to brown on the bottom and the cookies are set. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. 
  5. Visit for full instructions.


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