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!

Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread

The bread is soft, moist and the cream cheese layer is like having a layer of cheesecake baked into banana bread. No complaints here.!!


I love everything about that recipe except it makes two loaves and I knew one loaf of cream cheese-filled banana bread would be plenty. It’s swimsuit season.

It’s an easy, no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes.

Using melted coconut oil so there’s no butter to cream and no mixer to dirty. Oil keeps bread softer and springier than butter, and I prefer the taste. Coconut oil adds a nearly imperceptible undertone that’s sweeter and more fragrant than canola or vegetable oil, but substitute with them if you’d like.

Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread Recipe
The bread is soft, moist and the cream cheese layer is like having a layer of cheesecake baked into banana bread. It’s an easy, no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes. I use melted coconut oil so there’s no mixer to dirty and oil keeps bread softer and springier than butter. Coconut oil adds a nearly imperceptible undertone that’s sweeter and more fragrant than canola or vegetable oil, but substitute if desired. Sour cream (or Greek yogurt) is extra insurance for a soft, springy, bouncy, fluffy loaf. The big river of cream cheese is thick, bold, unmistakeable, and really makes this bread out of this world.



INGREDIENTS:
Bread
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup liquid-state coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup cup sour cream (lite is okay; or Greek yogurt may be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces softened brick-style cream cheese (lite is okay)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray one 9×5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  2. Bread – In a large bowl, add the egg, sugars, coconut oil, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the bananas and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don’t overmix; set aside.
  5. Turn about two-thirds of the batter out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary; set aside.
  6. Cream Cheese Filling – In a large bowl, add all ingredients and whisk to combine. Alternatively, mix with a hand mixer.
  7. Evenly pour filling mixture over the bread, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary.
  8. Top with remaining batter, smoothing the top very lightly with a spatula as to not disturb cream cheese layer and pushing batter into corners and sides as necessary.
  9. Bake for about 48 to 50 minutes or until the top is domed, golden, and the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Note this is tricky because the cream cheese never gets totally solid so the toothpick test isn’t the most accurate. Tip – Tent the pan with a sheet of foil draped over it at the 30 minute-mark if you feel the tops and sides will become too browned before center cooks through. Baking times will vary based on moisture content of bananas, cream cheese, climate, and oven variances. Bake until done; watch your bread, not the clock.
  10. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. Optionally, serve bread with Honey Butter, Cinnamon-Sugar Butter, Blueberry Butter, Strawberry Butter, or Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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