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!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Eggplants and Olives

Deliciously healthy vegetarian pasta salad with eggplants, capers and kalamata olives.
A spicy combination of Mediterranean flavors
I hope you enjoyed the long holiday weekend as much as I did. 
Here in Los Angeles we had an amazing weather, sunny and hot. Just perfect for the beach! And, as you probably know by now, I love the beach and warm weather. I could lay on the sand, reading my book, soaking up the sunshine and relaxing all day long. And I probably would never get tired of it. Especially if I go prepared and take along drinks and delicious food.
Yesterday, for our family picnic at the beach, I cooked this great pasta salad. Super healthy, spicy and tasty, made with eggplants, olives and capers. A great combination of Mediterranean flavors.
You can serve this pasta warm or at room temperature. For a casual dinner, or a family picnic. And make sure to cook some extra, so you can pack the leftovers in your kids' lunch. It will will save you a lot of time and energy. And the kids will love it!
Buon appetito!

Ingredients: serving 4
  • 2 peperoncini (dry, hot peppers)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 10 or so kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 8 oz (225 gr) of fresh mozzarella
  • 10 oz of penne pasta, or other short pasta (fusilli, farfalle...)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Preparation time: 30 minutes
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
In a large skillet saute' the garlic crushed or cut in slices with the peperoncini in a few tablespoons of olive oil.
2. Cut the eggplant in cubes and add to the skillet. Saute' over high-medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Lower the flame to medium and cook until tender. Add the chopped parsley.
3.When the water boils, cook the pasta following the directions on the box. Drain and run under cold water for 30 seconds to stop from overcooking, unless you plan to eat the pasta right away.
4. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the eggplants, the capers and olives cut in pieces, and the mozzarella cut in cubes. Add some olive oil if necessary. 
This pasta is great warm or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator any leftovers.


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