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!

The BEST Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter Maple Icing

The BEST Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter Maple Icing
It’s still in the 90s here in Sacramento.
But because I’m stubborn (and in denial) I’ve been rocking my boots, flannels and leggings and sweating profusely while doing so… only until I crank up the AC in October(!!!) and then I feel a little more fall-ish.
I’ve lit pumpkin candles around the house. I’ve purchased logs of wood for fires. I’ve even draped throw blankets back on over the couches to invite fall into Sacramento. But it’s still Daisy-Duke weather and I’m about to lose it.
The rest of the world is blissfully sipping PSL’s while they bundle up in peacoats and scarves and break out their Hunter boots for impending thunderstorms. Me? I’m digging through my closet for the tiniest shorts I own in an attempt to stay cool and the only thunderstorm in Sacramento is the thunderous sobbing by yours truly over the fact that it’s ALMOST ONE HUNDRED DEGREES STILL.
Perfectly spiced, moist and tender, this Pumpkin Bread will soon become a family favorite! Leave it naked if you wish, or stud it with nuts - however, I prefer mine with this simple brown butter maple glaze. I'm sure you will, too!

Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened (I used Land O Lakes)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (the puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
FOR GLAZE:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 - 1 & ½ cups powdered sugar (start with one cup and add more if glaze is too runny)
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup milk, optional if glaze is too thick
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine all of the above bread ingredients and beat at medium speed with a handheld mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until well-mixed.
  3. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for approx. 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean or with a couple moist crumbs (not wet). Cool for about 15 minutes, then very gently remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. While bread cools, make your glaze: in a small saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Continue cooking, watching butter carefully, until it sizzles and begins to turn amber in color, about 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook because it can quickly burn! When butter looks caramel-colored and smells kind of nutty, it's done. Remove butter from heat and cool completely. Then stir in the powdered sugar and maple syrup until a soft glaze has formed.
  5. Pour the glaze generously over top of the pumpkin loaf and let it set, about 30 minutes. Cut into slices and serve!

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