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!



A moist muffin filled with fresh raspberries and sweet white chocolate chips

Since school has started in Arizona and I have kids leaving at all different times in the morning, I look for EASY breakfast recipes. Most of the time, they are rushing out the door and need a “grab and go” breakfast. I have found that making a big batch of muffins and putting them in freezer bags, the kids always have a quick breakfast to go.

These Raspberry Muffins go down as one of my favorite muffin recipes. I crave them! The muffin is super moist and is filled with fresh tart raspberries and the sweet white chocolate chips balance out the tartness. If I am going to eat a muffin, it better be worth it. I have been working on perfecting the art of the muffin. This sweet muffin recipe can be used as a base for adding your favorite mix-ins.

What makes these Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins so special? The key is to start with a flavorful and moist muffin batter. This is achieved by using a mix of butter, sugar, and sour cream. All of these ingredients play an integral role in making these muffins fluffy and soft.

These muffins call for butter which gives moisture and rich flavor. Butter makes everything better! Sour cream adds richness, creates a tender texture, and moistness to the muffin.

When I lived in San Antonio, I would drive 25 minutes to go to a specialty grocery store called Central Market. They are known for their bakery and I am SUPER picky as far as grocery store bakeries. Most of them make a mass amount of baked goods that taste artificial and sickly sweet. Central Market is different and I became a huge fan of their bakery.

Several years ago, they started baking up oversized bakery muffins and I was hook, line, and sinker. I would take my two little ones with me and we would peruse the store and pick up our fresh flour tortillas (made right in front of us) and a muffin, every single time. I miss those days so it was time to re-create their incredible muffins at home!

One of my favorite things to sprinkle on muffins is sparkling sugar. What is sparkling sugar? It is large coarse sugar crystals with a little bit of shine. It not only adds sweetness but crunch as well, which gives a surprise element to baked goods. It also looks so darn pretty! You can find sparkling sugar here. Here are my favorite muffin tins —USA Pan 12-Well Muffin Tins. The muffins come out easily every single time.

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Sweet moist muffins with fresh tart raspberries and white chocolate. 
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: raspberry muffins
Servings: 12

  • 1/2 cup Butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Sour Cream (full-fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups Fresh Raspberries (if you want to use frozen raspberries, defrost and drain before adding to muffin batter)
  • 1 cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tablespoons Sparkling Sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Sliced Almonds (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or rub with butter. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together for 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. 
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until combined. Fold in sour cream. 
  4. Carefully fold in raspberries and 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips., reserving 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips for the top of the muffins. 
  5. Distribute the batter among the muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the center of muffins with remaining 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if using. 
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the center of toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from muffin pan. Serve with butter.


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