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!

Banana Muffins with Hazelnuts and Nutella

Soft and moist, butter-free  banana-hazelnut muffins stuffed with creamy Nutella 

Do you have a bunch of ripe bananas sitting on your kitchen counter? And are you wondering if today is the day you will finally throw it away? Because let's face it: no one will eat those bananas. They are way past their kind-of-ok stage, and way into the too-mushy-to-be-any-good phase.
Like you, I really hate throwing away food. So my bananas just sit on the counter for the longest. But it's really not my fault. No one  in my house likes bananas when they are still green, and definitely no one eats them if they are ripe. Thi means, each banana has a about a three day time-span in which it should be eaten. Not a day less, and surely not a day more!
Today I decided NOT to throw away my ripe bananas and find a creative way to use them. So I baked these super yummy butter-free muffins, filled with hazelnuts and with a heart of nutella. Delicious! And I'm sure you know by now, hazelnut and Nutella combination is one of my favorite! Here is how I made these muffins:

Ingredients: to make 12 muffins
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) of sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups (225 gr) of all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (75 gr) of chopped hazelnuts
  • 12 teaspoons of Nutella
  • about 1 tablespoon of raw coarse sugar (optional)
Preparation time: 50 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F (175º C). In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork, or a potato ricer (like I did) and mix in the eggs.
2. Blend in the sugar, vanilla extract and the vegetable oil.
3. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, until all is combined.
4. Add 3/4 cup of chopped hazelnuts.
5. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, or grease with butter and flour. Spoon a little bit of batter (about half full). Add one teaspoon of nutella into each and cover with more batter. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped hazelnuts and some raw sugar (if you like).
Bake for about 25 minutes until the top are brown.



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