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!

Buttery Apricot Scones

Buttery Apricot Scones
Light and buttery, flaky and soft, these are absolutely wonderful treats. It was love at first bite for me and I feel certain these will make any mom swoon over brunch. This Buttery Apricot Scone Recipe is so easy to make – even non-bakers can make this happen. Remember those flaky canned biscuits? These come apart in soft, lightly sweet layers just like the old canned biscuits, but taste so much better!
Layers and layers of sweet apricots and buttery goodness! This is a wonderful splurge and totally worth all the broccoli and salads I ate all week!
Buttery Apricot Scones Recipe
A light, flaky, buttery scone layered with chopped apricots and iced with an almond flavored glaze.

For the scone:
  • 1 cup cold, whole milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, divided
  • ½ cup diced dried apricots (about ¼ pound)
For the glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon warm water (more or less as needed for desired consistency)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a two cup measure combine the milk, sugar, and salt. Whisk until dissolved. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour and baking powder. Cut 10 tablespoons of the cold butter into ½" pieces. Add the butter to the flour mixture and blend using a pastry cutter until pea size pieces remain. Add the milk and stir with a fork until the dough starts to come together.
  4. Lightly flour a clean work surface and gently roll the dough out into a 14x8" rectangle. Soften the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and using your fingers, spread the butter evenly over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the chopped apricots over the dough and gently press so they stick.
  5. With the long side of the dough facing you, fold the top ⅓ of the dough over the center. Fold the remaining ⅓ over the top portion, like folding a letter.
  6. Fold the dough in half, then using the rolling pin, gently flatten to an 8x4" rectangle.
  7. Cut the dough in half lengthwise, and then into quarters crosswise to make 8 even squares.
  8. Bake on the parchment lined baking sheet for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. Remove to a rack to cool slightly before icing.
  10. To prepare the glaze combine the confectioners sugar, almond extract and water in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over scones and serve.


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