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!


Serve up a hot meal without the fuss for your family tonight: This crock pot beef stew is the perfect easy comfort food dinner.


2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons flour
1.5 pounds beef stewing meat in chunks

2 large yellow onions cut into wedges
2 cloves garlic sliced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup red wine OR use more stock
2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1-2 teaspoons salt or less, depending on what kind of stock you’re using
Black pepper to taste


3 large waxy potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
4 large carrots peeled, ends trimmed and cut into chunks
4 large celery sticks trimmed and thickly sliced
1/2 pound brown mushrooms cleaned and quartered
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup frozen peas no need to defrost
US Customary – Metric


Brown the meat: Heat the oil in a large and deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef cubes and stir. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir well. Cook until the beef is browned on all sides (do not stir too much, or the beef will not brown properly). Remove to a 5-6 quart slow cooker.
Start the gravy: Put the skillet back over medium high heat. If needed, add a little more oil. Cook the onions until starting to brown. Stir in the garlic, Italian seasoning and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until the herbs are fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour the red wine into the pan, scartching the browned bits off the bottom. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil (this will help the stew start cooking faster once it is in the crock), then switch off the heat.
Transfer to the slow cooker: On top of the meat, place the potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms, thyme and bay. Very carefully (!) ladle the hot liquid from the skillet into the crockpot, making sure the liquid runs down all the way to the bottom and underneath the meat (stir a little if needed).
Cook: Cook the stew on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGh for 4 hours. 10 minutes before cooking time is over, stir in the peas. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed. Either finish cooking with the lid open (if you want a thicker stew) OR closed if you want it soupier.

Please consult the post for additional help to thicken the stew and more cooking tips.


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