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!

Strawberry Crumb Bars



These easy Strawberry Crumb Bars, with a buttery crust, sweet fresh strawberry filling, and crunchy butter crumb topping make wonderful dessert bars to take to a summer party, picnic, or potluck.

Ingredients

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold butter, (8 Tablespoons or 1 stick of butter)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
1/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place parchment paper on the bottom of the 8x8 pan that hangs over the side of the pan. (This is to make it easier to remove the Strawberry Crumb Bars after cooking.)
In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup white sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.

Using a fork or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture. (VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure the butter is very cold.) Work with the dough until the pieces are very small. Dough will be crumbly. You can also pulse in a food processor to until you get pea sized crumbs.

In a separate measuring cup or small bowl, beat an egg with a fork. Add the egg and vanilla to the flour mixture, and combine until you have a crumbly mixture.
Pat half of the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In another bowl, stir together 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the strawberries.

Spoon the strawberry mixture evenly over the bottom crust.

Crumble the remaining dough over the strawberry filling layer.

Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly golden brown. (My oven runs hot and baked in about 38 minutes.)

Cool completely before cutting into squares. I recommend refrigerating until ready to serve.


Recipe Notes

It is very important that your butter be very cold. Also, when working with the crumb crust, be careful not to over work it because you don't want your hands to warm up the crust. You want the crust to be very cold.
The sweetness of the strawberries used matters. If your strawberries are not very sweet, you may need to increase the amount of sugar used in step 7 to about 1/2 a cup.
You can easily double the ingredients to make a 9x13 pan of the Strawberry Crumb Bars. Just change the number of servings above and it will adjust the amounts of the ingredients.


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