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!

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Deliciously moist maple butter cupcakes with a rich flavor.  These Maple Bacon Cupcakes are made with maple cream cheese buttercream frosting and pack plenty of real bacon for every bacon lover!

I’ve been meaning to make these Maple Bacon Cupcakes for some time now.  I originally wanted to share them in fall where I think these flavors perfectly describe November.  But since that didn’t happen, I wanted to share them in time for Father’s Day because what father doesn’t love bacon?!  These Maple Bacon Cupcakes pack so much flavor. You’ll love the combination of salty bacon and sweet maple syrup and tangy cream cheese frosting!
Deliciously moist maple butter cupcakes with a rich flavor.  These Maple Bacon Cupcakes are made with maple cream cheese buttercream frosting and pack plenty of real bacon for every bacon lover!  

  • 2 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup maple sugar (or 1 cup granulated sugar in place of maple sugar)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk ( I used half & half )
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons imitation maple extract/flavoring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • For the Maple Frosting
  • 18 tablespoons (that's 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons imitation maple extract flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, soft
  • 1 cup shortening, packed
  • 2 pounds bacon, finely chopped
  • maple syrup, to garnish


 1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a muffin tin pan with paper cups; set aside.
2. In a bowl fit with paddle attachment, whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  
3. With the mixer on low, slowly beat in chunks of shortening and butter.  Turn mixer to medium and beat until mixture has small crumbs.  
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk, eggs, maple flavoring, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. 
5. With the mixer on low, slowly pour mixture into dry ingredients.  Turn mixer to medium and beat until incorporated; about 1 minute.  Whip down sides of bowl with a spatula and stir to mix.  
6. Spoon 2 1/2 tablespoons cake batter into each cupcake.  Bake in oven for 27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool.
To make the frosting
1. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a bowl fit with a mixer, beat butter, powdered confectioner's sugar, salt, and maple flavoring.  Once smooth, turn mixer up to medium and beat in chunks of cream cheese and shortening.  Mix frosting until smooth.
2. Fill pastry bag with a cupcake tip and frost each cupcake.  Frosting may need to be chilled in pastry bag to create same design as photos.  Also, I used a Russian Ball Tip to frost each cupcake.  See notes on where to buy, otherwise, any cupcake tip will do. 
3. To make bacon, cook according to package directions or to make in the oven heat to 400 degrees F.  Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and spread bacon evenly on sheets without them touching.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until bacon is golden brown.  Transfer bacon to paper towel then finely chop.
4. Add chopped bacon to the top of the cupcake and around the bottom frosting.  Drizzle maple syrup over each cupcake if desired.
5. Cupcakes need to be chilled until 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes
To recreate frosting design, please read entire post.  You'll need these Russian Style Ball Cake Tips.  They can be purchased online from Amazon or Walmart


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