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!

Cucumber Lemonade

cucumber lemonade
I began this summer by expressing, in no uncertain terms, just how terrible New York City summers really are — sticky airlessness occasionally broken up by eerily refreshing droplets of cool water on your head that turn out to be filthy window a/c run-off, and you know, given that NYC lets people with absolutely no relevant skills install their own window a/c units, you might not want to walk underneath them at all, is all I’m saying. Right, I’ve digressed again. I think I hoped that if I aired my grievances about summer early and unflinchingly, I could get through the season without my least favorite of my writing tics, whining about the weather.
english cucumber from the grocery peeled the second batch
cucumber juice with skin cucumber juice without skin
fine mesh strainer for the cucumber puree another way to strain the cucumber juice

And I did, just not because of that. Despite dire warnings from the Farmer’s Almanac that we were going to have one of the more “humid and thundery” summers on record, to my delight, we experienced the opposite. Before Labor Day, there wasn’t a single day where temperatures crept above 91 degrees. In 2013, a year when I broke my don’t-complain-about-the-weather rule basically every time I opened my mouth, there were 16. [I promise, I’m getting somewhere with this.] Of course, NYC still has to have the last word and in the first week of September was back to its muggy air/scorched sidewalk ways. And it was in that week that when getting my weekly fix at this new dumpling place my neighborhood was graced with over the summer, I picked up some of their housemade cucumber lemonade and have not been able to talk about anything else since.
many lemons
getting ready to juice lemons
cucumber juice, meet lemon juice

I am obsessed. It’s not that I didn’t know you could put cucumber in a drink (he-llo!), it’s just that I didn’t think it would be so insanely good, especially against the brightening powers of lemonade. This might even rival that frozen coconut limeadein the cool and refreshing department. I don’t care if it’s suddenly cool enough that I had to close the windows a couple nights ago and maybe that means to some that it’s not lemonade weather anymore. It is still summer, which means that this is remains a Pumpkin-Spice Free Zone for five more days — don’t miss a chance to make this.
forget the simple syrup -- just add sugar

Events: I’ve got a few events coming up. If you’re around, come say hi. I promise not to talk about the weather.
Cucumber Lemonade
Inspired by Mimi Cheng’s

A few notes: I made this the first time with the cucumber skin on. As only surprised me, this makes for a very green juice, as in your guest will ask “You made me green juice?” Of course, no harm in that. The second time, which yielded the finished lemonade you see here, I peeled the cucumbers, which led to pale pastel green tinge to the lemonade. You can use any variety of cucumber; in the first batch, I used one of those large English cucumbers. In the second, I used 4 kirby cucumbers from a Greenmarket (each weighed 4 ounces). Flavor and concentration-wise I prefer a tart lemonade that’s a little bit on the concentrated side because we almost always finish ours off with a small glug of seltzer. For a sweeter, but not excessively sweet lemonade, use 1/2 cup sugar. If you’re not going to finish yours with sparkling or mineral water, use it for a cocktail or pour it over a glass of ice, you might find that you’d prefer this with 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra cold water. Finally, I find making simple syrup a pain (it’s a whole extra step!) and upon reading this over the summer, was reminded that you can totally skip this step and just add the sugar directly. Shaken a few times, within 15 minutes it will be fully dissolved, far more quickly than it would take to cool simple syrup. My lemonade feels so free!
Makes just over 1 quart (4 cups). Serves 4 to 6 and up to 8 if you like a lot of fizzy water in yours.
1 pound cucumber(s), peeled or unpeeled, cut into large chunks, plus a few extra thin cucumber slices for garnish
1 cup lemon juice (from about 7 to 8 lemons, although juiciness will vary)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cold water

Run cucumber through a blender or food processor until pureed, then run it for a full extra minute to ensure that it’s as processed as possible. Set a fine-mesh strainer or a regular strainer lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter over a pitcher and pour cucumber puree through it, stirring to help it move along faster. Discard solids. In the pitcher, you should have about 1 cup cucumber juice.* Add lemon juice and sugar to it, then water. Give it a good stir or shake, and let it sit in the fridge (to get it started chilling) for 15 minutes, after which a couple more stirs or shakes should leave the sugar fully dissolved. Taste lemonade, adding more sugar or water if desired. (See Notes up top about concentration and sweetness.) Serve chilled over ice, with or without a splash of seltzer on top. You can fancy up the glass with a garnish of cucumber slice, if desired.


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