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!

Homemade Irish Cream

  • homemade irish cream
  • Look, we all have to draw the line somewhere. I have over the years insisted that making some things from scratch were just crazy, best left to others, and one by one come around and worse, as if I’d forgotten my repudiation of five minutes earlier like some sort of toddler, extolled the virtues of doing so. Cases in point: Graham crackersmarshmallowsbagelsdulce de lechepop tartsrainbow cookiesgoldfish crackersapple strudel, fully from-scratch hot fudge sundae cakes and Russian honey cakes but if you were to suggest I should make my own yogurt, croissants or sushi, despite the fact that I would be delighted if you made any of these things, doubly so if you brought some to me right now, I would probably rather unpack the last box from our last move (two-plus years ago), not even jokingly labeled “Unfiled Files.” Look, we all have to draw the line somewhere. I mean, what’s next if I cross these lines? Milling my own flours? Smoking my own pork belly? Making our own Bailey’s-style Irish cream?

    what you'll need, minus the espresso powder

    Well, actually: yes. And here I go again: But it was so easy! You could and totally should do this at home! I had heard over the years that you could make this at home easily but — and I think this is the fulcrum on which we balance our yup/nope choices to cook things that amply exist outside our kitchens — I wasn’t unhappy with what I could buy (Bailey’s) so why would I bother? Irish cream has always been a favorite cold-weather indulgence, in or outside coffee. I’ve even made french toast with it. We always have a bottle around. But in the last couple years, I’ve found it almost too sweet to drink and I guess you could say we were on a break.
    make a paste with the cocoa
    mix it up
    homemade irish cream

    But now we’re making up for lost time. Guess how long it took me to make this? 5 minutes, and that includes measuring. Guess how soon it is ready to drink? Instantly. Guess how long it keeps? I have read both 2 weeks and 2 months but I realize that we’re probably never going to find out the latter. Guess who controls how sweet or creamy or boozy it is? You! Guess how close of a match it is to the bottled stuff? With my eyes closed, I’d unquestionably take a sip and say “Wow, Bailey’s is even better than I remember it. Why don’t I drink it more often anymore?”
    homemade irish cream
    homemade irish cream

    Here’s the plan for last-minute gifts for the Irish cream-lovers in your life: 
    1. Buy or order some bottles. The recipe below fills one of these carafes with enough leftover for a glass for you (you’re welcome). You could also fill 2 1/2 of these small jars which come in packs of 6, something you will not regret. (I plan to use them for milk and cream carafes for coffee when have people over for brunch, something I never have when I need.) I’m sure there are other lovely options out there too, these are just the two I used here.
    2. Make this recipe, scaling it as needed.
    3. Tie it up with a little ribbon (or thin fairy lights I cannot resist) and a little label and make everyone happy, including yourself, who is not waiting in line at a crowded, stressed-out store but at home on your sofa, holiday music playing and a warming drink in your glass.
  • To add a faint coffee flavor: Mix 1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder with the cocoa and then continue as written above, whisking the cream slowly into it. I did not do this; I felt the flavor was much more authentic without it.
  • To make less sweet: Add more cream and more whiskey, 1 tablespoon of each at a time.
  • To make less boozy: Add more cream and condensed milk, 1 tablespoon of each at a time.
  • To make more boozy: You’ve got this.
    • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 cup (235 ml) heavy or whipping cream
    • 1 (14-ounce or 415 ml) can sweetened condensed milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup (235 ml) Irish whiskey (I used Jameson)
    In the bottom of a pitcher, whisk cocoa powder and a spoonful of cream into a paste. Slowly, whisking the whole time, add more cream a spoonful at a time until the paste is smooth and loose enough that you can whisk the rest of the cream in larger splashes. Once all of the cream is in, whisk in condensed milk, whiskey and vanilla. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and keep in fridge for up to two weeks, possibly longer.
    Serve in a tiny tumbler filled with ice, or splashed into coffee.


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