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!

EASY STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

EASY STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

This easy strawberry shortcake recipe starts with homemade buttermilk biscuits that are topped with fresh, macerated strawberries, and homemade whipped cream. A summer staple!

servings12 SERVINGS
prep1 HOUR 5 MINUTES
cook10 MINUTES
total1 HOUR 15 MINUTES
course:DESSERT
cuisine:AMERICAN
author: MICHELLE

INGREDIENTS:
FOR THE MACERATED STRAWBERRIES
  • 5 pounds strawberries (hulled and quartered (about 15 cups))
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
FOR THE BISCUITS
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (melted, for brushing)
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
  • 1½ cups heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream)
  • 4½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
US CUSTOMARY - METRIC

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Macerate the Strawberries: Place the strawberries and the sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes, then use a potato masher to gently press on the strawberries (do not mash them). Let stand for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  2. Make the Biscuits: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  4. Using a pastry blender (or two knives or your fingertips), quickly cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps.
  5. Using a rubber spatula or fork, stir in the buttermilk until the mixture forms a soft, slightly sticky ball.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and quickly form into a rough square. Be careful not to overmix. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough letter-style into thirds, then lightly pat the dough back out into another 1-inch rectangle. Try to handle the dough as quickly and lightly as possible. Repeat the folding 2 more times; after the final fold, press or lightly roll the dough into a ½-inch-thick rectangle.
  7. Using a 2½-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out the dough rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. Pat and roll the remaining scraps to cut out more rounds. Brush with the melted butter and bake until the biscuit tops are light golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Brush with additional butter immediately, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. The biscuits are best served the day they are made, however leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes.
  8. Make the Whipped Cream: Pour the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract into a mixing bowl. Turn the mixer to medium speed and whip. The cream will start to get frothy, and then will begin to thicken (around the 2-3 minute mark). Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the cream looks billowy and there are distinct trails left by the whisk in the whipped cream. If you remove the whisk from the mixer and turn it upside down, the whipped cream should remain upright and not droop off.
  9. Assemble the Strawberry Shortcakes: Cut the biscuits in half horizontally. Spoon strawberries over the bottom of the biscuit and add a dollop of whipped cream. Top with the other biscuit half. Alternatively, you can also break up the biscuits and top them with strawberries and whipped cream.
RECIPE NOTES:
The biscuits can be made up to 4 days in advance (store in an airtight container at room temperature). Reheat in a 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes, then cool slightly before assembling the strawberry shortcakes.
The macerated strawberries can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.
The whipped cream can be prepared up to 1 day in advanced and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, use a large whisk and give the whipped cream a few good hard whips to reincorporate any separated liquid and stiffen it up.

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