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!

Watermelon Cupcakes




Ingredients:

CUPCAKES - MAKES 10-12 CUPCAKES
6 tbsp butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
leaf green food coloring by wilton (or similar light green food coloring)
BUTTERCREAM
2 sticks of butter, unsalted at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (can substitute butter)
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp of powdered watermelon koolaid mix
small about of red food coloring, to give the buttercream a pinkish color
mini chocolate chips
Directions:

CUPCAKES
Preheat the oven to 375º F. Place cupcakes liners to muffin pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the egg whites, beat again.
Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract, mix by hand with spatula.
In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, gently mix with a spoon.
Gradually add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
Add in the green food coloring, mix to incorporate.
Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling each 1/2 full.
Bake at 375º F for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º will keeping the cupcakes in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cupcake.
Allow the cupcakes to cool before adding the buttercream.
BUTTERCREAM
In a mixing bowl beat the butter and vegetable shortening with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar, mix by hand with a spatula.
Add in more powdered sugar as you see fit, up to 2 more cups, mixing first by hand then with an electric mixer.
Add in the watermelon kool aid powder and a small amount of red food coloring (to give the frosting a pinkish color), mixing one last time with an electric mixer.

HOW TO ASSEMBLE
Place the buttercream in a large piping bag fit with a 1m wilton piping tip. Push the buttercream down into the bag. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, starting in the center of the cupcake, swirling out, and then swirling back into the center, progressively stacking the frosting as you get to the center.
Add mini chocolate chips on top of the buttercream.
If the temperature is going to be really hot when serving these, it is best to add vegetable shortening to the buttercream because it will give the buttercream stability. An all butter buttercream can become "melty" or "floppy" in high heat.

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