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!


This yogurt cake has been a staple recipe of mine for so long. Not only is it easy to make, but the recipe is very flexible. For this particular version I kept it simple and added orange blossom extract, which adds the most intoxicating aroma. I made a simple, tangy crème fraîche frosting, which really lets the orange blossom shine. Fresh figs and chopped pistachios are the final touch, which in my opinion really bring all these flavors together in the most pleasant way. 
Orange Blossom and fig cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 1/4 tsp orange blossom extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • For garnish: sliced figs and chopped pistachios 
  • Equipment: 8x2 inch cake pan, parchment paper
Crème Fraîche Frosting
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
  • 4 ounces crème fraîche, room temp
  • 2-21/2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch sea salt
  • Equipment: standing mixer fitter with whisk attachment
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the cake pan a line with a piece of parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 
  3. Add the sugar and oil to a medium bowl and whisk together. Then whisk in the eggs, yogurt, and extract until smooth. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and place in the oven.
  4. Bake the cake for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool for 15 minutes before gently removing from pan. All the cake to cool fully before frosting.
  5. For the frosting, add the butter and the crème fraîche to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. The liquid might separate from the crème fraîche, but just continue beating until it becomes smooth and creamy—about 3 minutes or so. 
  6. Stop the mixer and add a pinch of sea salt, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Starting on low, slowly increase the speed to medium-high and beat everything together for about 45 seconds, or until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. With the mixer on low, add the second cup of powdered sugar in small increments until all of it has been added. Taste the frosting and add the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar if a sweeter frosting is desired. Scrape down the side of the bowl, then beat on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting seems to separate at all, simply continue beating until smooth.
  8. Once the cake has cooled, top with frosting, sliced figs, and chopped pistachios.
  9. Enjoy!


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