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!

Cambodian Hot and Sour Coconut Soup with Catfish (Somlar Machu Ktiss)

Cambodian Hot and Sour Coconut Soup with Catfish (Somlar Machu Ktiss)
Somlar Machu Ktiss (Cambodian Hot and Sour Coconut Soup) is almost as complex as Cambodian curry, so it doesn’t make regular weekly appearances on our dinner plate, but when it does, I always jump in joy and anticipation. So healthy, explosively flavourful, complex and beguilingly delicious, I can’t help but go for a second or a third round. Needless to say, there are never any leftovers when my mother prepares this somlar machu ktiss. 
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I am quite lucky. While my friends struggle with the newest diet fads, juice cleanses or paleo diet, I am regularly spending my time as usual; visiting the local farmer’s market for fresh ingredients. Cambodian diet is full of vegetables, fermented foods and a minimal amount of lean proteins, so I have always been lean and healthy. My mother prepared wholesome meals from scratch so artificial ingredients and processed foods were a rarity in our household. Even now, in my own household, processed or artificial food is not something I approve of, although somehow it does manage to sneak in from time to time (thank you, Jose, you sneaky devil!). 

  • Kroeung for Somlar Machu Ktiss
  • 11 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 cup lemongrass (2 stalks)
  • 3/8 cup galangal (1 root, length of thumb)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 4 bird's eye chilli peppers
  • 2 tablespoon roasted red pepper paste or thai red curry paste [ see note ]
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste [ kapee/kapi ]
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind powder (knorr)
  • 2 catfish [ cleaned, see above for how to clean ]
  • 10 Thai eggplants
  • 1 bunch long beans
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 cups water or chicken stock
  • cane sugar to taste
  1. Cut lemongrass, galangal and half of the kaffir lime leaves into tiny thin slices. Place them in a mortar and pestle along with turmeric powder, Thai bird's eye red chilli peppers, shrimp paste and red pepper paste (or red curry paste). Pound into a fine paste to make kroeung.
  2. Add oil to a pot or deep frying pan. Once heated, add kroeung and stir so the kroeung doesn't burn. 
  3. Once fragrant (about 2 - 3 minutes), add catfish and toss to mix the ingredients. 
  4. Add coconut milk, tamarind powder, salt and fish sauce. Rip up the other half of the kaffir lime leaves and add it to the pot. 
  5. Add the long beans and let it come to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes before adding the Thai eggplant. Let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the coconut soup thickens a bit. Add 2 cups of water. Add extra fish sauce or cane sugar to your taste.
  6. Recipe Notes
  7. Roasted Red Peppers
  8. Both in my Cambodian curry recipe and this one, I just used Thai Red curry as a replacement, but to do it properly, with the most authentic taste, you should use roasted red peppers. 
  9. Wash the red peppers and dry them. Grill/oven them on the lowest heat possible and let it cook for 2 - 3 hours until they are cooked, and dried. Once dried, they can be kept whole for a very long time, no need for refrigeration. To use for this recipe, soak the dried red peppers in water for a bit before transferring it into a mortar and pestle. You want to pound the peppers into a fine paste.
Recipe Adapted From


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