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!

Three Cheese, Caramelised Onion & Potato Pie


Three Cheese, Caramelised Onion & Potato Pie
This stunning cheese pie is perfect for a mid-week meal and tastes absolutely scrumptious, pure comfort food at its best!

Serves 4-6
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients
  • 30 g butter
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 950 g potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 140 g crème fraîche
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 100 g mature cheddar, grated
  • 100 g Stilton, crumbled
  • 100 g Gruyère, grated
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 500 g pre-prepared puff pastry
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
Method
  1. In a large frying pan heat the butter and add the onions, salt and sugar, fry for 5-6 minutes until the onions begin to caramelize. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a large pan of salted boiling water for 8 minutes, drain and then set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas Mark 7.
  4. Mix the crème fraîche, cream and cheddar in a small bowl. Mix together the Stilton and Gruyère in a separate bowl.
  5. Layer one quarter of the potatoes, a third of the onions and a third of the Stilton/Gruyère mixture in the bottom of a large pie dish. Sprinkle with a little freshly ground black pepper and grated nutmeg.
  6. Repeat, working from the outside of the pie dish into the middle to achieve a domed effect, seasoning as you go, then pour over half the cream/cheddar mixture. Repeat this step then cover the filling with the remaining potato, ensuring none of the cream mixture is visible.
  7. Roll out the pastry so it is larger than the pie dish. Cut strips from the side of the pastry. Brush the rim of the pie dish with egg wash and place the strips around the rim of the pie dish and cover with egg wash. Cover the pie with the pastry, using a folk press the edges of the pie. Use any off-cuts of pastry to decorate the pie then brush the top with the remaining egg wash. Cut a small cross in the top of the pie to let the steam escape.
  8. Place the pie in the oven and cook for 30 minutes then reduce the oven to 180°C/160°C/Gas 4 and bake the pie for another 30 minutes or until golden-brown, enjoy!

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