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!


These Death by Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes are rich and decadent, loaded with stout beer and Irish whiskey.
I need to gather my thoughts for a minute…
Because these cupcakes left me kind of speechless.
If you are making treats for Valentine’s Day, these need to go to the top of your list. They are. Insane.
I turned these little devilish things out over the weekend for my brother’s birthday. He’s a chocolate on chocolate cake kinda guy, so I knew going in that I was heading in a delicious super chocolate direction. Baking with beer is something I’ve wanted to try for awhile now and I figured my brother’s birthday was a perfect opportunity to play with that concept a little bit. Plus his birthday falls on the week of Valentine’s Day, so booze-soaked dessert seemed sort of appropriate.
I’m pretty sure Chad would be thrilled if I made these over and over and over again. These are guy-friendly cupcakes.
The cake is pretty similar to this Sour Cream Fudge Cake recipe. Crazy moist and rich. The Guinness has notes of chocolate and espresso in it anyway, so it complements the chocolate cake in a pretty great way.
I think that the Whiskey Chocolate Ganache on top was my most favorite part. I’m pretty sure I’ll be putting it on all kinds of things. Some that make sense like WAFFLES. And some that don’t like… ummm well, I can’t actually think of anything.
PREP TIME 25 mins
COOK TIME 20 mins
TOTAL TIME 45 mins
These Death by Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes are rich and decadent, loaded with stout beer and Irish whiskey
Author: Heather Tullos
Serves: 24

  • For the Cupcakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Guinness Stout
  • ¾ cup Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream, as needed to desired consistency (see note)
For the Whiskey Chocolate Ganache
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the Guinness and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Let cool slightly for a few minutes.
  4. While the chocolate/butter/beer cools, using an electric mixer on low, beat the eggs and sour cream into the flour mixture. Pour in the chocolate and continue mixing until combined, about 1½- 2 minutes.
  5. Distribute the batter evenly between the muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely.
  7. To make the chocolate buttercream, beat the butter for a minute until it's fluffy. Sift in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time, beating a little in between each addition. Sift in the cocoa powder and beat until it's combined. Add the salt, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream. Continue mixing until smooth. Add the last 2 tablespoons of heavy cream (or Bailey's; see note), more if needed, to reach the desired consistency.
  8. Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake.
  9. To make the chocolate whiskey ganache, heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it simmers (be careful not to burn!). Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until smooth. Whisk in the butter. Then whisk in the whiskey.
  10. Drizzle the ganache over the frosted cupcakes. Let it cool and set before serving.
When making the chocolate buttercream, you COULD make it chocolate Bailey's buttercream by using 1-2 tablespoons of Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur in place of 1-2 tablespoons of the heavy cream.


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