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!

FRENCH TOAST SUGAR COOKIES

FRENCH TOAST SUGAR COOKIES
Attention: These cookies taste like french toast, but they also taste just like a brown sugar cinnamon Pop Tart. In other words, childhood, reclaimed!
The initial idea was to make a french toast cookie, and I think I achieved that.
Cinnamon cookie + maple buttercream frosting = edible gold.
But I also think I figured out a much less tedious way to make homemade Pop Tarts. Exciting, right?! I mean…come on.
I can't decide if these taste more like french toast or a brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tart! Either way, these sugar cookies are fabulous and a total hit with my family and friends. Enjoy!

Ingredients
COOKIES
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
FROSTING
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tsp maple extract
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk, or to desired consistency
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  2. Cream sugar and butter with mixer; add egg and beat until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients to a sifter. Alternate adding milk and dry ingredients to the butter mixture while mixing. Then add vanilla and stir.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes before rolling out. Roll out on floured surface, cut into squares and bake at 375 degrees for 10-11 minutes, being careful not to over-bake.
  5. To make the frosting, cream softened butter with 1 cup of the powdered sugar and then slowly add in the rest.
  6. Add maple extract (I used 3 tsp) and milk, and stir. The consistency you’re looking for is thick and spreadable; not runny.
  7. Frost cookies, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy! Store in an air-tight container at room temperature to keep fresh for at least 3 days.
Notes
*Questions about substitutions, equipment, or troubleshooting? Check out our Recipe FAQ page.

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