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!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies are an easy to make slice and bake chocolate chip cookie recipe with a melt in your mouth texture, a light peanut butter flavor, and plenty of chocolate chips!

The all time most popular post on my blog so far has been my Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.

I’m happy for that cookie, I really am. It deserves the attention it’s gotten, after all, when was the last time you saw a cookie that intensely chocolaty? But I got to thinking that my other shortbread cookies deserve a little love, too.

Like this one. It’s made with creamy peanut butter, sea salt and milk chocolate chips.

It’s like if one kid had a room full of trophies and the other always got stuck out in left field. It kinda gets my maternal adrenaline flowing.

You know I love these slice and bake shortbread recipes. Who wouldn’t love to have a log or two of cookie dough hanging out in their fridge? You can get all the measuring and mixing and messy hands out of the way early and then have the luxury of fresh dough waiting at your beck and call. Let me put it another way: when you’ve got this dough in the fridge you’re 12 minutes away from nirvana.

If you want to try a rolled dough version of these, try my Milk Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

These cookies have a melting texture, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about the magical combination of peanut butter and milk chocolate. They’ll even stick a wee bit to the roof of your mouth…have a cold glass of milk ready.

Tips for success when making shortbread cookies—
Make sure to start with room temperature butter. This helps the dough come together smoothly. And thoroughly combine it with the peanut butter until the mixture is creamy.
Measure your flour carefully. I fluff the flour first to loosen it, then scoop the measuring cup and level it off. This helps insure you get an accurate measure and not too much flour, which will affect the quality of the cookies.
Mix the dough until it comes together and is no longer crumbly.
Use regular, not natural peanut butter. I use Jif.
If you have trouble with the dough crumbling when you slice it, this is due to the chocolate chips. I just form the cookies back into shape on the cookie sheet. It helps to use a very sharp knife, and you can also try a sharp serrated knife to cut through the chips. You can use tiny chips if you want to, which will help, but I prefer the taste of the big chunks of chocolate.
If you make smaller cookies (i.e. more than 10-12) adjust the baking time, it will take slightly less time for them to cook.
Expect these cookies to have a shortbread texture, which is to say delicate and crumbly, and very buttery. They aren’t the same as a regular chewy or cakey cookie. Shortbread has a distinctive texture.
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Category: cookies, dessert

Cuisine: American

Yield: makes about 14 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories per serving: 204.45 kcal

Fat per serving: 12.61 g

Saturated fat per serving: 6.53 g

Carbs per serving: 20.31 g

Protein per serving: 3.16 g

Fiber per serving: 0.93 g

Sugar per serving: 10.37 g

Sodium per serving: 77.56 mg

Trans fat per serving: 0.29 g

Cholesterol per serving: 19.15 mg

These peanut butter chocolate chip shortbread cookies are easy to make and literally melt in your mouth.

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature (important!)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I like Jif)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup (156 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (31 grams) confectioner’s sugar
scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips


Cream the butter and the peanut butter together in a stand mixer, with a hand mixer, or a wooden spoon. Make sure to get the butter and peanut butter completely combined and creamy. Beat in the vanilla.
Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture. Mix until the dough comes together and is no longer crumbly.
Stir in the chips, and turn the dough out onto a piece of waxed paper. Gently pull the dough together and form it into a log. If it is still crumbly, work it with your hands until it holds together smoothly. Roll it up in the paper, smoothing the shape as you go. Twist the ends securely and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. The log will be roughly 7 1/2--8 inches long.
While the dough is chilling, pre-heat the oven to 350F
Slice the log into slices with a sharp knife. Not too thick, not too thin, about 1/2 inch. If a slice crumbles a bit, just smoosh the dough back together. These don't have to be perfect disks.
Bake on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet at 350F for about 12-14 minutes, depending on how thick your cookies are. The cookies will not be browned, and they may look undone, but don't over bake. One of the joys of shortbread cookies is that they fall apart and melt in your mouth.
Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack.


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