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!

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Learn how to make strawberry buttercream frosting using real strawberries. This pipable strawberry frosting is delicious on vanilla or chocolate cupcakes, and so perfect for spring! If you don’t have fresh berries on hand – frozen berries work too.
Frosting is probably definitely my favorite part of any cake. I realize some people might think it’s embarrassing to say that out loud – but I have no shame when it comes to frosting.

Fluffy, creamy buttercream is my weakness. And one of my all-time favorites is strawberry buttercream frosting. Every spring my Vanilla Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Frosting starts to go crazy on Pinterest – so I figured it was time to create a step by step post on how to make fresh strawberry frosting.

For this strawberry buttercream frosting recipe – we’re using real strawberries. No artificial flavors here. It does mean that there’s a little extra work involved to get that delicious, natural strawberry flavor – AND thick, creamy consistency.

Learn how to make strawberry frosting using fresh berries. This strawberry buttercream tastes delicious on vanilla or chocolate cake, and is totally pipeable. The fresh berries give this frosting the most beautiful color!
  • 12 oz strawberries , fresh
  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
  • 4 and 1/2 to 5 cups powdered sugar , sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream , as needed

  1. First core the strawberries to remove the white centers. 
  2. Then place in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. You should have about 1 and 1/2 cups of strawberry puree. 
  3. Then put the puree through a sieve to remove the seeds - I do about 1/3 of the mixture at a time.
  4. Pour the strained strawberry puree into a medium saucepan over low-medium heat. Allow the mixture to boil gently while occasionally stirring.
  5. Continue boiling until it reduces to at least 1/4 of the original volume. It should be thick. Place the reduced strawberry puree into the fridge or freezer and cool fully.
  6. In a large bowl using a stand or hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until fluffy and no lumps remain. 
  7. Turn the mixer down to low speed and carefully beat in 2 and 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar. 
  8. Ensure the strawberry puree is cold, then add 3-4 tablespoons into the frosting along with the vanilla and salt. Beat together on medium speed until combined. (At this point the mixture will look uneven and not much like frosting). 
  9. Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar on low speed. Once combined, turn the mixer to medium-high speed to beat it until fluffy. Beat in a little extra powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of cream as needed. 
Recipe Notes
This recipe will make enough to frost 12-18 cupcakes if frosting using a piping bag, or 18-24 cupcakes if frosting using a knife. It's also enough to frost the top of a 9x13 inch cake. 


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