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!

Spanish Seafood Paella

Spanish Seafood Paella
A crusty saffron infused layer of rice and sauteed veggies topped with squid, mussels, and shrimp. That’s what this Spanish Paella is all about! One of the most famous Mediterranean dishes getting thoroughly explored in this post!
Ok, if I loved it so much why the hell I haven’t made it until yesterday? I don’t know. Somehow the timing wasn’t right all the time and there was always an excuse not to make it. There were times we didn’t have enough money for it (seafood is crazy expensive in my country), then we had money but I was too lazy to make it, and a million other excuses like that. But the time has come! Here, in Tenerife, where we are spending our time now, the ocean is at our feet and so is the abundance of seafood. All the stars aligned for me to make an authentic Spanish Seafood Paella!

Spanish Seafood Paella Recipe
This Spanish Seafood Paella features a crusty layer of saffron infused rice topped with shrimp, squid, and mussels. One of the best seafood dishes in the world!
Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion , finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes , peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt , to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (pimentón dulce)
  • a pinch of saffron threads
  • 4 small cleaned squid , bodies cut into rings, tentacles left whole
  • 2 cups paella rice (bomba) or risotto rice (Arborio)
  • 3 cups fish or chicken stock , plus more if needed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 12 jumbo shrimp , peeled, deveined
  • 16 mussels scrubbed, debearded
  • lemon wedges
Instructions
  1. In a paella pan or a large skillet (I used a 12-inch non-stick skillet), add the olive oil and fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt, paprika, and saffron and stir well. Cook until the tomatoes are thickened and reduced (5-7 minutes).
  2. Add the squid and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, mix the stock and wine and bring to a boil. Pour over the rice and bring to a boil once again. Add more salt, if needed. Spread the rice out evenly in the skillet and from now on don't stir it anymore.
  4. Cook over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes. Move and rotate the pan so that the rice cooks evenly. After about 15 minutes, lay the shrimp on top. Cook until they have become pink on both sides. If the rice looks to dry, add more boiling stock.
  5. Turn off the heat and cover the skillet with foil. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, steam the mussels by adding a cup of water and mussels in a pot. Cover and when they open, they are done. Throw away any mussels that have not opened.
  7. Finally, remove the foil and arrange the mussels and lemon wedges on top. Serve with aioli sauce and some olives. Enjoy!Recipe Notes
  8. Adapted from The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden. I highly recommend this book if you want to explore Spanish cuisine.

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