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 Lemonade Cupcakes

These Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes are so pretty and perfect for spring or summer. They start with fluffy, moist lemon cupcakes. Then they're topped with strawberry frosting made from fresh berries!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 442 kcal


Lemon Cupcake
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest freshly grated
3 large egg whites (you can discard the yolks)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream room temperature
3 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed*

Strawberry Frosting
8 oz fresh strawberries
3/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar sifted
1 tbsp whipping cream if needed



Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 12 cavity muffin pan with muffin papers.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
Then in a large bowl using an electric mixer beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy. Add in the egg whites and vanilla extract and continue mixing until combined.
Turn the mixer down to low speed and mix in about ½ of the sour cream followed by half of the flour mixture. Then turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat with the rest of the sour cream and flour mixture. Then turn off the mixer and stir in the lemon juice. Be careful not to over mix.
Spoon the batter into your prepared muffin pan, filling each muffin paper about ⅔ to ¾ full. You'll end up with 12-14 cupcakes total.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Strawberry Frosting

Core the strawberries to remove the green centers. Then puree in the food processor or blender until smooth. Then push the puree through a wire sieve to remove the seeds. You should have about ¾ cup of puree.
Transfer the puree to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil while gently stirring. Allow the mixture to boil for about 15-20 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to about ⅓ to ¼ of the original volume (about ¼ cup). The thicker your puree is, the thicker your frosting will be.
Remove from the heat and allow mixture to cool fully. You can place it in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.
In a large bowl beat the butter until fluffy, then beat in about 1.5 cups of the powdered sugar. Then turn the mixer down to low and beat in 2-3 tablespoons of the reduced strawberry puree. The mixture must be cold when it's added to the frosting, otherwise the frosting will separate.
Once added, beat in the rest of the powdered sugar and the whipping cream if necessary.
Frost the cupcakes either with a piping bag (I used a 1M tip or with a knife).

Recipe Notes

*Use 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon milk for a less strong lemon flavor
**I recommend storing these cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge


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