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!

Pasta alla Vodka

Have you been to any good Italian restaurant lately? If so, I'm pretty sure that one of the pasta dishes on the menu was the Penne alla Vodka. This is a very popular dish  (and for good reasons!), and it might be one of your favorite.
Tonight I want to show that you too can make pasta alla vodka just like the one at the restaurant.
What you will need is penne or another short pasta, like the rigatoni in my picture, a good can of tomatoes  (I like the San Marzano whole tomatoes that I quickly crush with a hand blender), hot peppers to make the pasta as spicy as you like, and of course, some good vodka!
Sometimes this sauce also comes with pancetta, but I personally prefer it without it. This way, it's also a great vegetarian recipe.
It will take you no more than 30 minutes to prepare this spicy, rich and creamy pasta. I'm sure you will be delighted with the results!

Ingredients serving 4 people:
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 hot peppers - or more if you like a spicy sauce
  • 1 small can (15 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of vodka
  • 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • 12 oz of rigatoni or penne pasta.
Preparation time: No more than 30 minutes

Step 1: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive with the onion and hot peppers. Saute' the onion over medium-low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Add the crushed tomatoes. Season with salt,  and pepper if you like.

Step 3: Cook the sauce for 10-15 minutes. At this point add the vodka. Cover the saucepan and simmer over low heat for 5 more minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta.

Step 4: Uncover and add the heavy cream. Simmer over medium heat for a few more minutes.

As soon as the pasta is ready, drain and add to the saucepan. Mix well, and add most of the Parmesan cheese. Save some of the cheese to sprinkle over each plate at the end.

And here it is: pasta alla vodka, just like at your favorite Italian restaurant!

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