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!

Plum Skillet Cake

It's time for a little coffeecake. 
I love using my cast iron skillet for everything.
Baking in it just seems so rustic country cozy.
I've make a great chocolate skillet cake and
of course it's perfect for corn bread.
This plum cake is just right for a little Sunday
afternoon kaffee und kuchen time.
 Add flour to a greased cast iron skillet. 
 Toss and tap out excess.
 Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
 Beat in egg.
 Add flour mixture, alternately 
with buttermilk.
 The batter will be light and fluffy.
 Spread batter into pan and top with plums.
Other fruit is good too, see variations.
Bake @375º until golden, about 30 minutes. 

Plum Skillet Cake
4T butter, room temperature, 
plus more for greasing the pan
3/4 C sugar plus 2T
1 egg
 1 C flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 baking soda
dash salt
1/2 C buttermilk
2 ripe plums thinly sliced

Butter a 9" skillet or cake pan. 
Dust with flour, tapping out excess.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, 
baking powder, and salt. Beat butter
and 3/4 C flour until fluffy. Beat in egg.
Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating
with buttermilk. Pour batter into prepared 
pan. Fan plums on top and sprinkle with 2T
sugar. Bake @375º until golden brown and 
toothpick inserted into the center comes out
clean, 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly. 


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