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!


Pumpkin spice cupcakes or muffins – either way this grain-free date-sweetened recipe is the perfect fall snack or frosted dessert!
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Or muffins. They can pull off the frosting-free look quite flawlessly too.
I posted these chocolate cupcakes last week, and judging by the remake rate since I think we can agree that cupcakes are quite possibly the most perfect dessert form. Chic. Shareable (or not). Less work than a cake. More frosting than a muffin. And actually healthy with a little date-sweetening savvy.
However I got a lot of questions asking for a grain-free option. WHICH I AM THRILLED ABOUT. Not because I had a ready and tested answer, I didn’t (although I do now!) But because I am obsessed with grain-free baking at the moment (a. it makes me feel good and b. almond flour is the best thing ever), and clearly I am not the only one. I was worried you wouldn’t be on board with the subtle oat → grain-free shift that has been taking place around here, but it seems many of you are. And I cannot even tell you how happy that makes me!
So. We are not just fall-ifying those cupcakes today, but switching up the flour situation too. Swapping from oat flour to almond flour is not just a straight, simple, 1-for-1 thing. On the one hand oat flour is very dry/absorptive and starchy/sticky, whereas almond flour is incredibly moist and not sticky at all.
That means some extra ingredients and amount adjusting is necessary…
More flour. Bottom line is you will need more dry and less liquid in the batter when baking with almond compared to oat. For this recipe that means adding an extra 1/4 cup of flour and leaving out the non-dairy milk.
Tapioca starch. Like I said, almond flour is not sticky and therefore not very good at binding on it’s own. That is where tapioca starch comes in. It is just the gluten-free “glue” these cupcakes need. Too much will turn them gummy, but just a couple of tablespoons holds things together without ruining the lovely crumb texture inside.
Nut/seed butter. This new addition is optional, but recommended. The batch I tested without is just a bit more…delicate. Like if you dropped one of each out of a second story window the one without nut butter would splat onto the pavement in more pieces than the one with nut butter. Yes, I think that’s the best way to describe it. Any kind of nut or seed butter will work, I personally used cashew butter because that’s what was in front on the shelf.
Cupcakes or muffins – either way this grain-free date-sweetened recipe is the perfect pumpkin spice snack or frosted dessert!

  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 12)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (or water)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsps pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour (*see notes for oat flour option)
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch (can sub cornstarch or arrowroot)
  • 1/4 cup nut/seed butter (I used cashew)
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp non-dairy milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a blender of food processor, combine the dates, non-dairy milk, and pumpkin. Blend until well combined with minimal chunks remaining.
  3. Add the rest of the cupcake ingredients.
  4. Blend again until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter between 6 muffin tins that have been lightly oiled or lined with paper liners. Fill each so it is level with the top of the pan. Smooth the tops.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350F.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.
  8. For the frosting, melt the coconut butter. Combine melted coconut butter with maple syrup and vanilla. Slowly add the non-dairy milk until creamy and pour-able (it may seize up at first, just keep stirring and adding milk). Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes or until thick and spreadable like frosting.
  9. Frost the cupcakes. Garnish with pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
For the oat flour option: Replace the almond flour and tapioca starch with 1 cup oat flour.


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