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!


Firstly, please excuse my appalling icing skills. It’s never been my forte, I’m afraid but I promise it tastes really good! That’s the most important thing, right? These cupcakes are inspired by an old (non-vegan) recipe of mine for chocolate lavender cupcakes.
  • 0.75 tbsp dried lavender buds + extra for decoration
  • 93.75 g good-tasting dairy-free butter
  • 150 g xylitol mixed in a blender on high power for a few minutes until it turns to powder*
  • A small amount of natural violet food dye optional
  • 131.25 g spelt flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 0.75 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 37.5 g cocoa powder
  • 168.75 g coconut sugar**
  • 206.25 ml hot water
  • 45 ml sunflower oil or other mild-tasting vegetable oil
  • 1.13 tsp apple cider vinegar
  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the dairy-free butter in a small saucepan with the lavender buds. Strain and allow the butter to re-solidfy in the fridge or freezer.
  2. Once the butter has set again, mix it with the rest of the butter in a stand mixer along with the powdered xylitol and a small amount of purple food dye until you have a thick, fluffy buttercream. Keep refrigerated until use.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c. / 350f. and line a muffin tray with 12 cases.
  2. Mix the first five ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Stir in the remaining wet ingredients until the mixture is smooth and lump-free.
  4. Divide the mixture equally between the 12 muffin cases and bake for 15 minutes. Use a cake tester or skewer to test the middle of the cupcakes come out clean. If not, bake for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool before frosting.
  6. Transfer the frosting to a icing bag and pipe on top of the cupcakes. Decorate with dried lavender buds and serve!
*Xylitol is a natural sugar-free sweetener, available in most health food shops or supermarkets. Can be used 1:1 granulated white sugar. 
**Coconut sugar is a natural, low GI alternative to brown sugar that you can find in most health food stores. If you prefer, you can use brown sugar in it's place 1:1

Recipe Adapted From


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