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!

SWEET ALMOND PASTRY

This pastry is only fifteen minutes away. It has a gourmet grilled cheese food truck that we all love, but I really do miss those sweet almond crescents.



So I decided to make a version of it here at home and I have to say, it was possibly even better! Sometimes, by the time we got there, the dough had gotten soggy. At home, we all got to stuff our faces with fresh, warm delicious baked almond-y goodness.

The almond paste is what gives this all it’s flavor – don’t skimp on it! Also, if you want to add chocolate, I like to spread nutella on top of the almond mixture before I braid the pastry. It is seriously divine.

SWEET ALMOND PASTRY RECIPE
This pastry is only fifteen minutes away. It has a gourmet grilled cheese food truck that we all love, but I really do miss those sweet almond crescents.



INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 7 oz almond paste
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor (or stand mixer) combine almond paste, sugar and vanilla extract. Until well combined.
  4. Unfold pastry sheet on prepared baking sheet. Gently roll it with a rolling pin to be a little thinner than it is out of the box - not much, just a little larger.
  5. Follow video above for how to cut, fill and braid pastry. Here are some written directions to help guide you:
  6. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on prepared pan. Cut slits 1 inch apart from the 2 sides of the pastry rectangle within 1/2 inch of the where the center mixture will go. Arrange the almond paste mixture down the center of the pastry.
  7. Starting at one end, fold the pastry strips over the almond mixture on a diagonal, alternating sides. Brush the pastry lightly with the egg wash. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes and then lower heat to 375°F and continue to bake for 17 to 20 minutes -- until golden brown. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes, slice and serve.

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