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!

Spicy Shrimp Spring Rolls

Spicy Shrimp Spring Rolls
Once again, I’m excited to be working with The National Shrimp Council and creating recipes with shrimp to share with you!
I love cooking with shrimp. Be sure to check out my sriracha lime grilled shrimp too!
Since it’s the season for tailgating, wooohooo! I thought I would make you some spicy shrimp spring rolls. I know it’s not your standard tailgating fare but who cares, right? These are the perfect little snack for while you’re watching the game!
  • 6.75-ounce package of rice noodles
  • 1 pound shrimp (if frozen, defrosted, peeled and deveined)
  • 1 Tablespoon McCormick Gourmet™ Japanese Seven Spice with Shichimi Togarashi Seasoning (plus more after the shrimp is cooked)
  • 1 cucumber (cut in half and then into wedges)
  • fresh Thai basil leaves, optional
  • rice paper
Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet™ Japanese Seven Spice with Shichimi Togarashi Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  1. Start a pot of water to boil. Boil the rice noodles as directed on the package (usually only takes 3 minutes to cook).
  2. Rinse the noodles with cold water in a colander when it’s done cooking.
  3. Empty the pot and add water and return to the stove to boil again. Add 1 Tablespoon McCormick Gourmet™ Japanese Seven Spice with Shichimi Togarashi Seasoning to the pot and bring to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat to medium.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon. Allow the shrimp to cool for a few minutes (until it’s easy to handle with your hands).
  5. Slice the shrimp length-wise in half. Sprinkle the Japanese Seven Spice on top of the shrimp and place the shrimp in the refrigerator.
  6. Prep the cucumber and make the dipping sauce.
  7. Add peanut butter, water, hoisin sauce, the Japanese Seven Spice and sugar to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients until completely blended. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  8. Wet one piece of rice paper with warm water. Place on a plate and let it sit for 60 to 90 seconds. Place the shrimp in the middle of the rice paper. Below that, add the cucumber and the Thai basil (if using) and the rice noodles. Fold over the sides of the rice paper and from the bottom fold up until you have a spring roll! Repeat until you run out of shrimp.
  9. You can serve these immediately. They will cut nicely if your refrigerate them for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving as appetizers.
The dipping sauce will taste even better if you make the dipping sauce the night before! The spring rolls are best served fresh the day you make them, you can wrap and roll them the day before. Again, they are best served the day you make them but you can wrap them in paper towels that have been wetted completely with cold water (and wringed out) and placed into a zippered plastic bag. Serve the next day for your tailgate party!


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