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!

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Ravioli Bake

When it comes to delicious veggie combinations, there really isn’t anything we love more than the pairing of spinach and artichoke. For a party, it’s really the best appetizer option – remember our Artichoke Dip Stuffed Mushrooms and Baked Spinach Mashed Potato Cups?! – but we love it so much we want it to be the centerpiece of our dinners, not the appetizer or the side. 

So we’ve been on a quest to find the perfect entree, and this one might be it: a Creamy Spinach Artichoke Ravioli Bake! Not only does it feature these great veggies, it’s also a novel way of enjoying cheese raviolis and some creamy Alfredo sauce. Let us show you how simple it is to make, then read on for the recipe to try it yourself!
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 – 16-ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • 2 cups Alfredo sauce
  • 1 – 25-ounce package frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 cup Italian cheese blend, shredded
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, artichoke hearts and pesto.
  3. Spread ⅓ of the Alfredo sauce on the bottom of a 11-by-7-inch baking dish. Top with half of the spinach mixture and a layer of half the ravioli.
  4. Repeat the layers once, and finish with the remaining ⅓ of Alfredo sauce on top. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the Italian cheese blend. Increase the heat to broil and return the baking dish to the oven. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese just starts to brown.
  6. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired, and enjoy.


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