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!

THE BEST CHEWY CAFÉ-STYLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

THE BEST CHEWY CAFÉ-STYLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
These cookies are my most popular recipe ever, and for good reason. But I went ahead and messed with them anyway.
After years of making them, I’ve very slightly tweaked the recipe (to be seriously perfect, because I’m obsessive), but the original recipe will be preserved in the notes section for all who prefer it. I’ve also taken new photos and included a how-to video, so if the page looks different to you, don’t worry, you’re still in the right place. And what a delicious place it is.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt*
  • 1 ½ sticks (6 oz) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed*
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping*
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cooled melted butter and the sugars with a hand-mixer for about one minute. Then, add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until just combined.
  3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix briefly, just until there are no flour clumps left. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350°F, making sure you have the racks in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.*
  6. Scoop 1/4 cup of cookie dough at a time and roll into balls. Then, tear the balls in half by pulling gently on both sides. Smush the two halves together again, but this time have the lumpy, torn sides face upward. Place on the prepared baking sheet, making sure the cookies have plenty of space to spread. You should be able to fit 6-8 cookies on each tray.
  7. Bake for about 10-14 minutes, rotating half-way through, or until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden, but the centers of the cookies still look soft and undercooked. Every oven is different, so I recommend starting with just one or two cookies on the tray to see what baking time works best for you!
  8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until the cookies are firm enough to remove, about 15 minutes. As the cookies are cooling, press additional chocolate chips into the tops for a more bakery-style look.
  9. Repeat with remaining batches, until all cookies are baked. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk!
NOTES
Take my advice about the test batch of 1 or 2 cookies. You can have the greatest cookie recipe in the whole world, but the time will vary depending on your oven! The key to perfect cookies is knowing how to adjust for your kitchen, as I mentioned in the post.
* The original version of this recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of salt rather than 1 teaspoon, light brown sugar rather than dark, and baking at 325°F rather than 350. I’ve found that the results are better and more reliable in the updated version, but feel free to use the old recipe if you prefer.

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