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!

The Consolation Prize (A Mocktail)

the consolation prize (a mocktail)
In the almost six years since I last waddled around in the name of procreation — I know, I make it sound so glowy and glamorous — to my delight, two things in particular have changed: 1. You can now get maternity pants that have almost all of the dignity of regular ones, thanks to small elastic panels above each pocket that frankly would be as welcome the day after Thanksgiving as they are now that I’m approaching the six-month mark and people no longer believe me when I said I just had a really big lunch. (However, a New York-specific rule remains: you’re not actually “big” until someone willingly cedes his or her seat on the subway for you, by which standards, I must be svelte. Hey, I’ll take it.) 2. More pertinently to the scope of a cooking website, a whole lot of bars are making really great mocktails.
what you'll need

I credit the fact that there’s been something of a cocktail revolution over the last five years, wherein housemade bitters, syrups, fresh-pressed seasonal juices, sodas and fresh herbs are almost the norm, and the bartenders, nay, mixologiststhat craft them are name-dropped almost as often as head chefs. People who choose not to drink whether due to beliefs, lifestyle, diet or due date are no longer expected to sip a club soda and twist of lime they could have bought at the local bodega for pennies to take part in what I consider one of the holiest social rituals of spring — hanging out with friends at happy hour on one of the first warm days.
I’m doing my part to try them all and it is in this “research” that I realized I’ve really stiffed this site of a delicious opportunity to have more drinks that work for everyone. The best ones are as good without alcohol as they are with, say, rum, but taste nothing like compromise (not that I can resist teasingly calling it one, just the same). This is a riff on one I had at Jeffrey’s Grocery while killing time between the babysitter arriving and the start time of the party we were going to a couple weekends ago. As written, it had pineapple, lime, honey and coconut in it, but I couldn’t resist adding fresh mint, to complete the glorious mash-up of a piña colada and a mojito. The mint is lightly muddled before shaking the whole of it vigorously* over ice. If you finish it (not pictured) with a splash of fizzy water, the top will foam up as dramatically as an ice cream soda, which was about the point that I realized two other awesome things about mocktails: you don’t have to wait until any time of the day or day of the week for it to be socially acceptable to drink them and you get to share them with your kid. See? Everybody wins.
the consolation prize (a mocktail)
the consolation prize (a mocktail)

* and let’s definitely not talk about my husband walking in to ask me a question while I was mid-shake which led somehow to me draping myself and the kitchen head to toe in so much sticky. I promise not to quit my day job to become a bartender, okay?
The Consolation Prize (A Pineapple, Lime, Coconut and Mint Mocktail)
A little bit mojito, a little bit piña colada, this tastes like everything I miss about warm weather and sandy beaches, and is especially necessary when the weather report has the audacity to predict snow on the first day of spring.
A couple notes: I didn’t photograph it this way, but we discovered later that the smallest splash of seltzer or sparkling water makes this drink foam up gorgeously, and tastes great too. The sweetness level here is fairly low, the way we like it, but I have a hunch that some people might like it with more honey, so definitely adjust to taste, especially if you’re doing what I know you’re going to ask next…
Can you put rum in this? Of course you can! I can’t decide whether dark (the piña colada standard) or light (the mojito standard) would be better. I’ll let you know in a few months.
For four small drinks
A handful of mint leaves
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup coconut milk, well-shaken
Ice cubes
Seltzer, to taste
Lime wedges, sprigs of mint or sliced fresh pineapple for garnish

In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, lightly muddle mint — no need to render it into small flecks, but if you break it up a little, more flavor will be released. Add pineapple, lime, honey, coconut milk and a few ice cubes and shake it well. Pour over ice cubes in glasses, finish with a splash of seltzer and garnishes. Close your eyes and pretend you’re somewhere tropical.


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