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!

Healthy Pasta Salad with Grilled Veggies

Healthy, quick and delicious pasta salad with colorful grilled peppers, savory grilled zucchini and fresh  mozzarella.
I say, it's time for a savory and healthy recharge today! 
I realized I've been posting lots of sweet recipes recently, and not enough wholesome dinner ideas. 
And I do claim mine is a blog about Italian food. So for a minute, let's not think about chocolate covered  almond cookies or moist and buttery cakes exploding with fresh berries. And let's dive, headfirst, in this healthy and scrumptious vegetarian pasta. 
It's super easy and quick (ready in no more than 30 minutes) and it can be prepared ahead of time.
I'm sure you are going to love it as much as I do!

I prepare this pasta salad on the regular. It makes an easy, everyday dinner or a super fun dish for my weekend picnics at the beach. And if I have leftovers, even better! I pack it in my children's lunch boxes the next day.

This pasta salad is ready in a breeze. All you need to do is cook the pasta, grill the peppers and the zucchini, and toss all the ingredients together. 
I simply love these small red, orange and yellow peppers. So colorful and so sweet. I grill them skin down for a few minutes until lightly burned. I wrap them in aluminum foil for about ten minutes, while I grill the zucchini. This makes them softer and the skin easier to remove. You can leave the skin on if you prefer, especially for small peppers. I actually love the smokey flavor of the lightly charred outer part. It's a nice contrast to the natural sweetness of the peppers.
You can use whatever pasta shape you like the most. And I mean short pasta (no spaghetti or linguine or such). Penne or farfalle are my favorite for this recipe.
And remember to use flavorful, good quality extra virgin olive oil. 

Ingredients: serving 4

  • 8 oz (225 gr) of colorful mini peppers, red, orange and yellow
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 oz (340 gr) of  pasta (I used Barilla penne pasta)
  • 1 fresh mozzarella ball (4 oz, 115 gr)
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh basil
  • salt

Preparation time: 30 minutes

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta when the water boils following the directions on the box.

2. While the water boils, prepare the veggies. Wash the peppers, cut in half and remove the seeds if any.

Place the peppers, skin side down, on a hot grilling pan (or grill), and cook until the skin blisters and burns a little. It should take about 3-4 minutes, but time can vary based on your grill. Salt to taste.

Wrap the peppers in aluminum foil, and keep them close for 10 minutes or so. This will help remove the skin more easily, and soften the peppers.

3. Slice the zucchini lengthwise, in thin slices, about 1/8 inch (3mm). Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and grill for a few minutes on each side. Salt to taste.

5. Peel the peppers, if you'd like, and cut in pieces. Cut in slices the zucchini.

In a large bowl combine the peppers, zucchini and olive oil.

7. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and run under cold water, to prevent from overcooking (unless you plan to eat the pasta right away!). Toss the pasta with the veggies.  Add the mozzarella cut in small cubes and chopped fresh basil. Mix and drizzle with some more olive oil if necessary.

You can serve immediately or later at room temperature. 
Buon appetito!

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