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!

Japanese Custard Pudding (Purin)

Japanese Custard Pudding (Purin)

This baked Japanese custard pudding, known as purin in Japan, is creamy, delicious, and easy to make! 


caramel sauce

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon water to add at end

custard pudding

  • 3 large eggs
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Check out the video above to see me make these!
    Preheat oven to 320 degrees F. Prepare 6 ramekins. I used special metal purin cups that I got in Japan, hence the shape. See video above.  
    In a small pan over medium high heat, add the sugar and 3T water and quickly stir together. Stop stirring, and allow the sugar water to come to a simmer. Cook the sugar until it is a deep brown, and is caramelized. Add 1 T of water to the caramel, to help loosen it up. Careful! It's hot and may splatter a bit! Quickly pour caramel into the 6 ramekins. 
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat the milk until warm to the touch. Whisk in the sugar until combined. Whisk together the three eggs in a separate bowl. Add the whisked eggs to the milk/sugar, and whisk to combine. Add the vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour through a strainer, and divide the strained liquid among the 6 ramekins. 
  3. Place the ramekins in a 9x13 cake pan (or a pan with sides that are about as tall or taller than the ramekins). Boil water, and pour the hot water in the cake pan (don't get any in the purin!), about 1/2-3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins.
    Transfer to the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the custard is soft but set, and no longer too liquidy. (note: a reader informed me that when using  glass/ceramic ramekins it needed to bake on the longer side, about 50 minutes)
  4. Remove from oven, and allow the purin cups to cool completely. These are best served cold, so let them cool in the fridge before serving! 
    To remove purin, run a knife along the edge of the ramekins and flip onto a plate, so the caramel sauce is on top. Or eat it straight from the ramekin!
    Garnish with some whipped cream and mint, if desired. 

Purin, or Japanese custard pudding, with caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream and mint garnish.
Purin that is half eaten, surrounded by a pool of caramel sauce. Purin that is half eaten, surrounded by a pool of caramel sauce. Purin that is half eaten, surrounded by a pool of caramel sauce.


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