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!

Spaghetti puttanesca

Punchy, pungent flavours of anchovies, chilli flakes, capers and olives make this pasta a heady classic – add the optional garlic ciabatta for a bit on the side.
  • For the garlic ciabatta (optional)
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 30g/1oz Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 ready-to-bake ciabatta, cut into 12 thick slices
  • For the spaghetti puttanesca
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • ½–1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 12 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp baby capers, drained
  • 100g/3½oz pitted black olives, sliced
  • 800g/1lb 12oz cherry tomatoes (600g/1lb 5oz halved, 200g/7oz quartered)
  • 500g/1lb 2oz dried spaghetti
  • handful flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • To serve
  • freshly grated Parmesan

  1. If serving garlic ciabatta, prepare it first. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. In a small bowl, mix the butter, garlic, parsley and Parmesan together and add some salt and pepper. Lay the ciabatta slices on the baking tray and spread liberally with the garlic butter. Place on the top shelf of the oven for 12–14 minutes, or until golden brown.
  2. For the spaghetti puttanesca, heat the extra virgin oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. add the onion and cook for 5–8 minutes, until softened. add the garlic, chilli flakes and anchovies to the onion and cook for 2–3 minutes. add the capers, olives and halved tomatoes and cook for 8 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to soften and break down slightly.
  3. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. add the spghetti and cook for 2 minutes less than the suggested time on the packet, stirring a few times. While the pasta is cooking, add a small ladleful of pasta water to the tomato sauce.
  4. Drain the spaghetti as soon as it is ready, keeping back a little of the water, and add it to the sauce with the quartered tomatoes and another splash of pasta water.
  5. Cook for 3–4 minutes, then stir in the parsley. Season with pepper, and salt if needed (the anchovies will be salty). Serve the pasta in warmed bowls, with Parmesan, and the garlic ciabatta, if serving.
Recipe Adapted From


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