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!

Mexican Martini ~ Trudy’s Copycat

Mexican Martini ~ Trudy’s Copycat
Like a margarita on the rocks with a splash of olive juice, this Mexican Martini is a copycat recipe of the famous cocktail from Trudy’s in Austin.
Cinco de Mayo is just a few short weeks away and, I don’t know about you, but I relish any holiday that can be celebrated by eating vast quantities of chips, queso, and guacamole…all washed down by a margarita (or three)! So I do believe a new margarita recipe would be just the thing to commemorate this occasion… 
While Mexican Martinis carry the moniker of, well, martinis, they are actually margaritas on the rocks…in disguise. Made with your standard margarita ingredients, what sets these apart is the fact that they’re spiked with olive juice — à la dirty martini style — and shaken in a cocktail shaker before being poured into a martini glass. The result is a chilly, refreshing cocktail that’s a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and capable of adding a whole lotta olé to your fiesta!
Invented here in Austin, you can find various versions of Mexican Martinis at bars and restaurants across town. But my favorite has always been the MMs at a local Mexican restaurant chain called Trudy’s. And today’s recipe, friends, is a pretty darn good copycat of those Trudy’s Mexican Martinis.
So let’s break it down like a bartender, shall we? Start with a good tequila, because you’re going to be able to detect it. I prefer tequila plata (that would be “silver tequila,” for those of you not lucky enough to have had four years of Señor Rust for high school Spanish 😉 ), but gold tequila is good, too. Then comes your favorite type of orange liqueur. I keep Cointreau on hand, but Triple Sec works equally well.
A true margarita connoisseur already knows that the key to an excellent margarita is using fresh-squeezed fruit juices. Lime juice is obvious, but have you ever added fresh orange juice to a margarita? It mellows out the liquor and adds a touch of citrus-y sweetness. Perfecto!
Next, we’re going to cheat just a bit…shhhhh! I typically use simple syrup to add sweetness to cocktails, but for these Mexican Martinis, lemon-lime soda (with its extra punch of citrus) is a nice stand-in, not to mention it’s as easy as popping open a can.
Finally, you’ll need to add a splash of the most important Mexican Martini ingredient of all…OLIVE JUICE! You are certainly welcome to get fancy and buy one of those bottles of olive juice from the liquor store, destined for dirty martinis. But alternatively, you can just buy a jar of green, pimiento-stuffed olives (manzanillas) and pour a bit of the liquid in which the olives are swimming into your drink. As far as how much olive juice to add, start with a splash and then add more, to taste, if you like your martinis extra-dirty.
And then…shakeshakeshake your margarita concoction with plenty o’ ice in a shaker, pour it into a salt-rimmed martini glass, and garnish with a skewer of precisely three olives. Okay, okay…I guess you can use as many olives as you want. But I have found three to be the perfect number required for finishing my cocktail.
One shaker actually makes enough for about two drinks, so it’s up to you if you’re going to claim it all as your own or share. As for the potency of this cocktail, please know that you are free to tweak it to your taste! I typically top mine with a bit more Sprite and a smidgeon more olive juice, but adjust any of the ingredients to your liking. Everyone has a different tolerance for how weak/strong/sweet/salty they prefer their spiked beverages, but I feel like this recipe is a pretty good baseline starting point.
And that’s it…you’re all set for Cinco de Mayo! Although everyone will understand if you need to practice this Mexican Martini recipe a few times before May 5th to get it juuuuustright… 
Mexican Martini ~ Trudy’s Copycat
Yield: 1 shaker, which yields about 2 martini glassfuls
  • 2 ounces tequila (decent -quality recommended)
  • 2 ounces lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite or 7-Up)
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or Triple Sec)
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • Splash of olive juice
  • Coarse salt (such as kosher salt, for rimming the glass)
  • Pimiento-stuffed green olives (manzanillas), for garnish
  1. Measure tequila, soda, orange liqueur, lime juice, orange juice, and olive juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into salt-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a skewer of olives.
Spread a thin layer of coarse salt onto a plate. Use a slice of lime to wet the edge of the martini glass, then dip in the salt, turning until well-coated.
To add some spice, garnish with gourmet green olives that have been stuffed with jalapenos.
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Adapted from


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