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!

Chocolate Chip Brownie Swirl Cookies (aka Brookies)

Chocolate Chip Brownie Swirl Cookies (aka Brookies)
Let’s talk about Fall. Are you a fan? I know… It’s hard to smooch Summer goodbye, but I have to admit, I ♥♥♥ Fall like whoa! Mainly because there are just so many things I’m looking forward to. Long afternoon bike rides, leaf peeping (we have so many colorful trees here in the Hudson Valley!), apple picking with my nieces, and late night hot toddies by the fire. <— Just to name a few 😉
Tell me. What are you most excited to do this season?
You’re going to bake the cookies at 350ºF for 12 minutes. When the cookies come out of the oven the chocolate chip cookie will have spread much more than the brownie; use a spatula to gently press the edges back in towards the brownie side. The brownie bakes up more underneath, giving you a little bit of both flavors in every bite! If you’d like your cookies to look just like mine, you can also press a few more chocolate chips on top when they first come out of the oven.
What happens when a cookie and a brownie meet? Chocolate Chip Brownie Swirl Cookies. Also known as Brookies by some! These cookies are the best of both worlds.

  • *Prepare chocolate chip cookie recipe first; it needs to chill while you prepare the brownie cookie dough.
  • For the Chocolate Chip Cookie:
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt (regular salt will work in a pinch)
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Brownie Cookie:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
For the Chocolate Chip Cookie:
  1. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the *room temperature butter on medium-speed until smooth. Add in the sugars and vanilla and beat on medium-speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy; about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the egg and beat well after its addition. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 45 minutes (set a timer!).
  5. For the Brownie Cookie:
  6. Place butter and chocolate in a small sauce pan over medium heat and cook for about 2 minutes – stirring constantly – or until the butter and chocolate are completely melted. Remove from heat and whisk until completely smooth; set aside.
  7. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  8. Add the sugars and the vanilla to the chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined; about 2 minutes (I recommend using a stand mixer/ handheld mixer to do this, if you have one). Add in the egg and egg yolk and beat well. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in chocolate chips.
Assembly and Baking:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop 2 tablespoon-sized rounds of chocolate chip cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie for spreading.
  3. Use a second measuring device (ice cream scoop or tablespoon) to scoop rounds of brownie cookie dough directly next to each round of chocolate chip cookie dough.
  4. Join the two cookie doughs by gently pinching them together, being sure to adhere any gaps.
  5. Place baking sheets in preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges and tops are set but the centers still looks slightly underdone. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire wrack to cool completely.Notes
  6. *You will know butter is at room temperature when it's just soft enough to hold an indentation of your finger when lightly pressed.


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