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!

Quick & Easy Vegan Banana Scones

This is all about easy brunches of pancakes, french toast, breakfast bakes or some lightly golden Banana Scones.

While scones are most commonly cut into square portions from a shaped dough, I’ve gone with the classic damper shape of triangular portions cut from a flattened, round loaf.  I’ve made damper before (years ago – think Girl Guides and camping) and If I had a cast iron pot and a fireplace the recipe would probably have been called ‘Banana Damper’.

With coconut oil instead of butter, these still have a wonderful scone texture – crisp crust and a fluffy yet crumbly interior. There is the sweetness of banana with the slight hint of coconut and caramel from the coconut oil and sugar respectively. Being a warm day, my oil was liquid already so ‘cutting it in’ wasn’t an option, I mixed everything as I would a muffin batter. 

Everyone seems to have different definitions of what a scone’s texture should be, and I was pretty happy with my adaptation. For little effort, these golden scones make for a delicious breakfast, brunch or afternoon tea with your choice of cream, cashew or coconut cream, jam or delicious nut butters.

Quick & Easy Vegan Banana Scones Recipe 
Made with coconut oil and coconut sugar, these Vegan Banana Scones are flakey and cakey for the most delicious brunch ever.

  • 3 cups self-raising flour (see notes)
  • ½ cup coconut oil (see notes)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (see notes)
  • 2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp linseed meal
  1. Preheat oven to 210C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Mix coconut oil, sugar, mashed bananas, vanilla and LSA in a large bowl. Sift 3 cups of flour into wet mix, stir well to combine. Use hands to incorporate all flour and form a ball of dough.
  3. Transfer dough onto baking sheet, flatten ball into a round disc and use sharp knife to cut into 6 or 8 portions. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until pieces pull away from each other and top is slightly browned.
  • Gluten-free scones: Use gluten-free self-raising flour + 1 tsp xanthum gum. If adding oats, use uncontaminated brand.
  • Flour: Instead of self-raising flour, use plain, wholemeal or spelt flour and add 3 extra tsp of baking powder.
  • Coconut oil: Substitute with cold, chopped butter for an authentic scones recipe.
  • Coconut sugar: Substitute for any other unrefined sugar, e.g. sucanat, rapadura.


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