DavidGreth

Why is homework important?

As long as there has been homework around there have been students wondering exactly why they had to do that homework but learning doesn’t end when a child leaves the classroom.
When a child comes home from school the concepts he has learnt that day are still fresh in his mind. Going through those concepts, via homework assignments, acts as a refresher for the child. This way a child can retain ideas, and get into the depth of a subject.
Doing homework is also important in developing a child’s independence. By studying alone a child learns to use different reference materials such as text books, encyclopedias, and the internet.
Another skill children learn from doing homework is time management. This is done by the teacher simply putting a deadline on when the homework has to be completed for. Getting homework finished and handed in on time also increases the child’s self-discipline and sense of responsibility.
Homework helps to develop problem solving skills because you have to find ways to arrive at the right answers with no aid from the teachers.
From a teachers perspective homework allows them to keep track of a child’s progress. It allows a teacher to identify a student who is not keeping up and give them extra help as needed.

Keystagetwo.com is a learning environment that enables children to learn effectively, while having fun.
We offer schools the chance to utilize our ‘edutainment’ system which involves class and individual prizes for pupils to aid in the improvement of grades, overall school OFSTED performance and a system that can be used in conjunction with whiteboard technology on a daily basis.
For the parent we offer the chance of additional tutoring at a fraction of the cost, using a system that your children will enjoy using. You will be able to track your child’s performance on homework and set your own tests for the holidays to aid your child’s ability to succeed.

www.keystagetwo.com

How homework helps

Homework is a great way to get involved in your child’s education, and reinforce what they have learnt in school. It is important that parents are aware of what their child is learning, and get involved as much as possible. By keeping up with new topics as your child is learning about them, it helps you to be able to implement them into your everyday routine, and help them with any problems they may be having.
The time spent on a child’s homework does not necessarily reflect them achieving more. More important to this is their understanding of the topic. It is crucial that they do not just get through the homework to get it done, but that they understand it enough to do it. It is a regular question between children and their families ‘What did you do in school today?’ This could be one the most important ways of helping your child. It makes them think back through the day and remember exactly what they have done, make sure you show interest and ask follow up questions to this as well.
Here are some further top tips for helping your child with their homework.
– Find one area that your child can use every day to complete their homework.
– Make sure this space is a clear flat surface with a good soft light for them to work under.
– Ensure your child has all the correct equipment for their homework in this area, and do not need to run about trying to find a pen or pencil half way through.
– Arrange a time, and agree it with them, that this will be their homework time every day.
– It can sometimes help to find some way of rewarding your child, for example they cannot go out to play before their homework is done, or all homework has to be finished before dinner.
– Discuss your child’s homework with them before they start, so they know exactly what they have to work through.
– Do not let this time become like work or a chore, try to make it fun, and see it has time to spend together.
– Do turn off the TV or move away distractions, but do turn on music, this often makes a child relax, as long as it is not distracting for them.
– If your child gets stuck, do not give them the answer; show them how to get it instead.

Keystagetwo.com is a learning environment that enables children to learn effectively, while having fun.
We offer schools the chance to utilize our ‘edutainment’ system which involves class and individual prizes for pupils to aid in the improvement of grades, overall school OFSTED performance and a system that can be used in conjunction with whiteboard technology on a daily basis.
For the parent we offer the chance of additional tutoring at a fraction of the cost, using a system that your children will enjoy using. You will be able to track your child’s performance on homework and set your own tests for the holidays to aid your child’s ability to succeed.

www.keystagetwo.com
www.buccaneersandlobsters.com

Why electronic media can save you time and money

In times of severe economic difficulty, when government cuts are so rife that even education is being affected, schools nationwide have to address their individual budget and look for ways to cut spending without cutting corners. One way to achieve this can certainly be a further integration of electronic media in the day-to-day classroom management, which will not only prove more cost efficient, but will also redistribute vital time the teacher never thought was possible to find. As we already know, electronic media and ICT can innovate and stimulate, but it can even make a considerable contribution to a healthier-looking balance sheet, and significantly more efficient time management.
If calculated over an academic year, the printing and photocopying costs for handouts and worksheets for the average class would be considerable to say the least; not to mention the cost of wastage. The utopian concept of a paperless office has been touted about by many an office manager, but in truth rarely achieved. But certainly, with regards to schools and classroom management, the wave of new media tools has made such an efficient ideal a lot more conceivable. If a child’s homework task were to be assigned electronically as opposed to a photocopied or printed worksheet, then the costs of producing resources and tasks would be immediately reduced. The worksheet would not be printed, photocopied, defaced or lost, and so the school would reduce spending on daily task and homework assignments alone. In addition, the time the teacher would save via this system as an alternative to selecting, preparing, copying and distributing the resources would be significant, and undoubtedly the teacher would see such organizational benefits almost instantly.
Likewise with the purchasing of homework diaries, workbooks and textbooks: Teachers can set and send homework electronically in a shared classroom environment located on the website, accessible to staff, parents and pupils, and the interested parties can make their suitable contributions from there, cost free – whilst USB memory pens can begin to lighten the load of heaving schoolbags and classroom shelves of textbooks. Resources can be ordered, organised and distributed digitally, making for cleaner, lighter, quicker, more efficient and cheaper information management all round.
Schools ultimately would spend much less money on stationery, printers and photocopiers, and everything could be managed centrally and electronically -even file and record management. Any additional funding could then contribute to helping staff and pupils come to terms with the digital revolution and the wave of new media tools which are in existence and at our disposal: making things easier, more interesting and significantly cheaper. Schools could bring their budget into line, making a significant saving on resources, whilst making for a cleaner environment, as teachers enjoy the benefits of finding some extra time to do the tasks they never thought were possible.
As personal and laptop computers become about as common a household item as a television or washing machine, we must accept that a large proportion of children have these resources at their disposal at home: the potential is there, we just have to facilitate it and make it a reality.

Keystagetwo.com is a learning environment that enables children to learn effectively, while having fun.
We offer schools the chance to utilize our ‘edutainment’ system which involves class and individual prizes for pupils to aid in the improvement of grades, overall school OFSTED performance and a system that can be used in conjunction with whiteboard technology on a daily basis.
For the parent we offer the chance of additional tutoring at a fraction of the cost, using a system that your children will enjoy using. You will be able to track your child’s performance on homework and set your own tests for the holidays to aid your child’s ability to succeed.

www.keystagetwo.com
www.buccaneersandlobsters.com

Building an investment portfolio

An investment portfolio must be particular to the individual, family or company investing. Those people wanting to build a portfolio must know how to determine the asset allocation that best suits the specific goals, strategies, timescale and risk profile.

The reason for putting a portfolio together is to reflect on future needs for capital and income and to give peace of mind that the desired outcome will be achieved without undue risk.

The first decision is with regard to Asset Allocation, which is simply explained as the amount of money invested in each of the asset classes. There are many asset classes such as stocks and shares, government gilts, corporate bonds, property, commodities, cash etc.

Although there are many Asset Classes it is universally agreed that most will fall into four main categories mainly cash, fixed interest, equities and property. Most other asset classes that individuals will come across are really sub-classes of these four.

The main benefits of having a spread of investments within these four asset classes is the understanding that the classes do not mirror each other’s movements, up or down, i.e. there is a low correlation between activity in each class. It is accepted that cash has a very low correlation with shares and property, property has a huge correlation with shares, shares have a lower correlation with fixed interest. So if property yields or value is increasing this does not mean that cash rates will be affected either up or down.

The primary key to investment success is having an asset allocation with the right mix of asset classes and the right amount of money invested in each of the mix to give the desired return at the correct level of risk.

It is probably an obvious statement to make that investors will have less risk if they divide their investment between cash and shares than if they have it all in shares.

A brief on Cash

Cash is understood by all and the cornerstone of our economy. Although banks are in the midst of major changes in their structure due to recent internal turmoil, they are still perceived as one of the safest places to hold money. They will provide a guaranteed rate of return over a specific period with no risk of underlying capital.

The two drawbacks of investing heavily in cash are 1) the level of return is lower than other asset classes over a long period and 2) inflation.

Inflation effectively means that the buying power of your money is going down over time for individuals on a fixed income; therefore inflation is very hard on retired people unless they have sufficient assets to build in regular income increases.

For these two reasons it is advisable not to have all assets in cash, even in retirement. There are many safe investments now with higher returns than from cash which will protect the buying power if inflation is present.

Generally depending of course on an individual’s risk profile, if an individual is at the stage of growing their asset base they should only have a limited amount of cash as an excessive amount will create a drag on the investment performance.

A brief on property

When considering property, many of us immediately consider our residential property and of course for many that is the only exposure to property investment.

There are however many different types of property investment away from our residential such as, residential buy-to-let, commercial property, overseas property, property fund, specialist property syndicates etc.

In recent years the attitude towards property investment changed, perhaps for the worse, whereby people believed property could be a short term investment, where historically it was always accepted as having a long investment cycle. I believe it is fair to say that unless an individual wants a hands on investment they need to consider investing via the myriad of funds or syndicates on the market. These structures basically allow a lot of individuals to pool their money and have property professionals manage the assets for them. The downside is of course, that the management has a cost attached to it which will diminish the returns.

A brief on equities

Equities are a summation of the method of investing in stocks and share either directly or through structured funds such as Unit Trusts, insurance bonds etc.

A simple definition of what is a stock (or share) is simply ownership of a small proportion of a company. Holding a company’s stock means that you are one of the many owners (or shareholders) of a company, and as such, you have an entitlement to your share of the company’s earnings as well as voting rights attached to the stock.

Of course the challenge for investors is deciding what companies to buy stock in and many do not want to spend the amount of time required to research investment opportunities.

It was for the reason that ‘collective investments’ were developed which allows private investors to pool their funds with other investors and appoint professional managers to run the funds.

The performance of the fund is dependent on the investment philosophy and style of the fund manager. Some fund managers may choose stocks that are safe bets for steady appreciation; others will be more aggressive stock selectors whose funds will experience a lot more volatility and be considered to be in a higher risk category. It is amazing to think that the growth of the collective fund industry has resulted in more funds available than individual shares. So, as much care needs to be taken when researching a fund manager as goes into particular share purchase.

The consideration of risk in investment

Risk is a basic and underlying concept which is present in all aspects of investment. It is inherent in every financial product and there is no such thing as a financial institution that does not face risk in its business. So the main challenge for the investor is how to manage and instigate risk as it cannot be wholly eliminated.

Risk can really be categorised as downside risk i.e. that something will go wrong which cannot be planned for or speculative risk which is associated with taking a gamble “for better or for worse”.

For individuals considering investment options it is well accepted that they must be aware of four main risk categories namely; prudential risk (where the management of the company invested in is bad and the results affected by this), fraud by management or individuals within the company, performance risk whereby investment is not doing as ell as hoped for and complexity risk where individuals do not understand the intricacies of the investment taken on.

It is fundamental requirement for every investor to establish their level of risk and to only invest in sectors, types of investments and over timescales that fit into their risk profile.

How to establish your current risk profile

This is an important exercise, as by knowing this you can start the process of selecting appropriate investment strategy.

A method well proven and widely utilised is noted below and it would be well worth taking time out to establish where you would sit on the scale.
…………blah blah

When you have completed this profile, you can move onto the next chapters showing how different asset groups, investment structures, and product work together to create your ideal profile.

Fixed Interest Brief

A ‘fixed interest’ investment is where an individual effectively lends money (typically to the government or an individual corporate entity) in return for a fixed amount of income (or interest) over a particular time period. If the investment is held to the end of the term the capital amount invested is usually returned in full.

Although prices on fixed interest investment go up and down at different points – the economic cycle, an investor does know that when purchased they will get ‘x’ amount of income per year for ‘y’ years.

This therefore means that fixed interest investment is usually considered to be less risky than equities.

www.lospandos.com

Would you like to pick the shares to invest in yourself?

Would you like to know how to choose what Shares to invest in yourself?

Most individuals think that picking shares from an established stock market is very difficult for them and can only be done by professionals who spend all their time researching endless amounts of data from companies and institutions.

The surprising fact is that each of us can have, at least, a lead into the shares ‘of which companies we should be buying by just keeping our eyes and ears open to what is happening around us and following this up with questions and research.

For instance if a lot of new shops are opening in our area, what is the brand, is it opening up throughout the country? In our own lives we are considering purchasing something new which we haven’t looked at before. Is the company getting a lot of coverage, do you notice more advertising by them on T.V., billboards etc.

Have you noticed more of a certain brand of car on the road recently, have you changed toothpaste recently because of a development in an alternative brand?

All these experiences give you a sense that something may be happening in these companies. It may therefore be worth finding out more from Companies House (where accounts are available) and of course through the World Wide Web which will provide incredible amounts of information. It must be stated however that research needs to be comprehensively done and the overlying consideration of risk is still of paramount importance.

Professional investors will, of course, work to certain guidelines for both research and selection. These can be summarised as factors affecting a) a countries general economic policy and current position, employment rising or falling, is the deficit static, what is the relationship between imports and exports etc, b) are there any underlying trends in the market at present i.e. Are high tech companies the flavour, or food companies, energy companies etc. and c) gather as much current information as is available for individual companies and sectors.

Within the research needed is the decision as to where the shares being considered are in their pricing range i.e. no one wants to buy a share which is considered to be at the top of its pricing range as it is likely that it has only 1 way to go. Of course this is tempered by knowledge for instance a share may be deemed high now but future government activity is likely to affect that particular sector and so drive the share prices in that sector higher. Fundamentally though shares should be bought when they are low to historical prices rather than when they are high.

When research is completed the decision to invest comes down to a few factors

a) Is this company on an upward curve where earnings will increase?
b) Is the sector in which the company is situated at a safe stage in the economic cycle?
c) Is there anything likely to happen by government which will affect the sector or company?
d) Are the Directors/management of the company committed and what level of shareholding do they have, and are they buyers or sellers of shares?

e) Is the share price at a fair point i.e. not at highest?

If you stick to these simple few questions and apply common sense and add a little bit of research into the process there is no reason why you can’t be as successful as some of the Data crunching experts.

http://lospandosopportunities.com/

Planning Retirement? Have a Look at Spanish Property

Recent economic downturn has greatly diminished life time savings of many people. Those who have been particularly hit hard are soon-to-be-retirees and who had planned to retire in subsequent years. They have found themselves at a critical juncture where they have to make some tough decisions which can impact how they will be able to spend the rest of their lives.

Some recent developments have made their choices easier and much clearer. Retiring in Spain has become not only a fad but now is seen as the most sensible choice. Planning on a Spanish retirement means lower potential ptoperty costs, affordable & hi-class Medicare, a warm climate and the possibility of your savings lasting longer.

Spain, situated at the Southern tip of modern Europe is easily accessible by air, rail, road and sea. It has been a favourite tourist destination for British, German and Scandinavian citizens for many decades.

Spain is still seen as very much a developing country which means the cost of living is lower than most of Western Europe. All essential amenities and facilities especially Medical facilities are very affordable. Items of everyday living are also considerably lower which means savings even while you are getting comparable services/products.

One big ticket item for every retiree is Medical care. This eats up a large chunk of savings. In Spain, one can get medical facilities which are of international standards with well qualified and hugely experienced doctors & staff. The hospitals have state of the art facilities and equipments. The services provided are highly specialized and the personal care and attention to each patient is as good as anywhere.

As everybody is aware, Spain is a world famous tourist destination and receives huge traffic inflow during peak seasons. Many people buy retirement Homes in Spain very early and rent them out as holiday rental homes . The steady income from the rentals with no hassle is a welcome addition. So, buying Spanish property not only secures your future but can also increase your retirement pot as you reach your nominated retirement age.

If you are planning on retirement then do consider Spain, like any other destination carefully; see up and coming areas, developments and communities and see what destination suits you better. Do your research, visit different areas at different times of year, use local specialists to point out areas that correspond to your desired lifestyle criteria. Marbella, Valencia, Malaga, Los Pandos and many other beautiful destinations beckon you!

The project of Los Pandos covers an area of 5000 hectares in the locality of Almansa in the Albacete province.

Part of the larger region of Castilla la Mancha, Los Pandos, is within just one hour’s drive of the airports of Alicante, Murcia and Valencia. Each also boasts a sea port with Valencia’s being the second largest logistical port in Spain.

There are train links from all three to Madrid and Almansa is also well connected by road with motorway links to all major towns and cities. Although present infrastructure is more than adequate for the development of Los Pandos, a high speed rail network – the AVE – is already underway.

The central hub of the new rail connection, due for completion in the coming months, will be in Almansa. This superior transportation network will make Los Pandos one of the most important strategic and logistic platforms in Southern Europe.

As the vineyard is undoubtedly the focal point of Los Pandos, initial investment and development is being directed into that area. Extensive studies have been undertaken and are ongoing, reformation of the existing farmhouse and other buildings will allow for the state of the art and experimanetal bodegas. Brands are in development and marketing strategies in place for taking Los Pandos vineyard firmly into the 21st century and creating a high quality, yet profitable wine business.

As the project moves forward, plans for the development of eco-villages, leisiure facilities, technical and industrial zones, state of the Art sports facilities – all utilising the latest in sustainable development techniques – will come to fruition.

So come with us on our journey of discovery, in building what we think will be the benchmark for sustainable living for centuries to come.

Please feel free to navigate around the site, check out our videos and digest as much information as you can about the project and associated opportunities, if you have any queries you can phone or email us, or better still we can instantly answer your queries if you go to our live chat button now!

http://lospandosopportunities.com/

Advice on converting your income into assets

This article is brought to you by the people at Los Pandos

The vast majority of individuals do not start off with a lump sum of money with which to build assets. Only those who receive a windfall inheritance or a lottery win experience that luxury.

So a strategy needs to be formulated to change surplus income with assets over a certain timescale.

By creating assets individuals are effectively creating a future providing security and freedom of choice, and therefore is a major step in creating financial independence.

In generations past savings meant putting a little away on a weekly basis and utilising the proceeds for annual holidays or special occasions.

In the last 25 years with the financial industry becoming more mainstream and accessible and banking facilities such as Direct Debits becoming the norm, individuals have a widespread opportunity to access the myriad of offerings available. These offerings range from tax free products, through Life Company and Unit Trust products to basic Banking and Building Society deposit accounts.

By definition the timescale involved is crucial when deciding which type of savings vehicle to utilize. Generally speaking the longer the time before assets need to be utilized to create income the less needs to be saved and a lower risk option can be chosen.

The use of as many tax breaks as possible is crucial to consider as this benefit alone can create substantial increase in growth over the long term.

Your Emergency Fund

The first consideration is to create an ’emergency fund’ which will remain accessible and not be utilized for anything other than an emergency. Generally speaking this emergency fund should be accumulated to . the equivalent of 3 months running expenses i.e. if your month to month expenses are $2000 then an emergency fund of $6000 would be appropriate. Once you achieve this fund then surplus over this amount can be utilised into different types of investment vehicles. It must be remembered however that if the emergency fund is utilized or a proportion of it, then the next period of savings needs to be utilized to build it up again.

Credit Card Balances

The next point that needs addressing is the relationship between saving regular amounts and running a credit card. The main point of strategy here is to prioritize and ensure that whatever surplus income you have which you may consider savings is utilized firstly to pay off credit card balances. In other words if you do not pay of the balance at the end of each month it is much better to utilize whatever surplus funds you have to pay the balance down as quickly as possible. You should really only take on the commitment of regular savings when you are in a position to pay off your credit card at the end of each month.

Utilizing the Tax Breaks Available

It is logical to always consider saving as tax efficiently as possible but be careful not let the “tax tail wag the investment dog”.

As an example if you invest $100 per year in a tax free environment over 5 years at a 10% return a total amount of $671 will be accumulated, if however this had been held in a taxable account and assuming a 25% tax rate the amount accumulated would be $624. So for every $100 saved over 5 years a bonus of $447 is experienced. If you expanded this to $1000 per year this gives a benefit of $470 over 5 years, quite an increase for no increase in risk, just structuring the investment more advantageously.

Another factor within taxation structure is ensuring that partners or married couples structure investments according to their individual tax situation. In other words if one of the partners is a non-tax payer then it may be wise to put some of the savings/investment under the non tax payers ownership to enhance tax returns. This can of course also be appropriate for children’s savings.

Pound Cost Averaging

Many potential savers or investors are anxious about having enough knowledge to time their investments into a market correctly. When utilizing a regular savings plan to buy shares the question of timing does not arise.

If you save the same amount each month in units or shares, you get the advantage of buying more when prices are lower and this is balanced by being able to buy less when prices rise. This is called pound cost averaging
And it is argued that by doing this the average price paid for each share is lower than their average price over the period. In actual fact the more volatile the shares are the more advantageous is the pound cost averaging.

The project of Los Pandos covers an area of 5000 hectares in the locality of Almansa in the Albacete province.

Part of the larger region of Castilla la Mancha, Los Pandos, is within just one hour’s drive of the airports of Alicante, Murcia and Valencia. Each also boasts a sea port with Valencia’s being the second largest logistical port in Spain.

There are train links from all three to Madrid and Almansa is also well connected by road with motorway links to all major towns and cities. Although present infrastructure is more than adequate for the development of Los Pandos, a high speed rail network – the AVE – is already underway.

The central hub of the new rail connection, due for completion in the coming months, will be in Almansa. This superior transportation network will make Los Pandos one of the most important strategic and logistic platforms in Southern Europe.

As the vineyard is undoubtedly the focal point of Los Pandos, initial investment and development is being directed into that area. Extensive studies have been undertaken and are ongoing, reformation of the existing farmhouse and other buildings will allow for the state of the art and experimanetal bodegas. Brands are in development and marketing strategies in place for taking Los Pandos vineyard firmly into the 21st century and creating a high quality, yet profitable wine business.

As the project moves forward, plans for the development of eco-villages, leisiure facilities, technical and industrial zones, state of the Art sports facilities – all utilising the latest in sustainable development techniques – will come to fruition.

So come with us on our journey of discovery, in building what we think will be the benchmark for sustainable living for centuries to come.

Please feel free to navigate around the site, check out our videos and digest as much information as you can about the project and associated opportunities, if you have any queries you can phone or email us, or better still we can instantly answer your queries if you go to our live chat button now!

www.lospandosopportunities.com

Alternative Investments

This article is brought to you by the people at Los Pandos

The first point of consideration is to establish what constitutes an alternative investment. Simply put anything outside the four main established asset groups of Cash, equities, Fixed Interest and Real Estate (or their sub groups) can be considered an alternative investment.

Investors must be aware that with many of these investments there is no protection under regulatory rules set down by central authorities or indeed no claims protection under ombudsman services.

While some alternative investments could give an income while you hold them – such as investing in a racehorse – most don’t generate a regular income and must be viewed as medium to long term investments.

For these reasons most are considered volatile and high risk and are really best suited to experienced investors.

Examples of alternative investment groups are Commodities, Hedge funds and Private Equity.

Commodities

So investments like art, fine wine, antiques or even film production would all be considered alternative and are very stand alone and not dependant on the normal investment considerations of economic cycles etc. In other words they are not correlated in any way to other things that are happening such as interest rates, unemployment trends or input/export trends.

Hedge Funds

A hedge is basically a financial strategy that offsets the risk from one purchase by buying or selling others. There are two basic reasons for investing in a hedge fund; to seek higher net returns and to seek diversification away from main asset classes allied the preserving capital and delivering positive returns under all market conditions. Of course higher returns are not guaranteed as hedge funds do not invest in the same entities as individual investors or other collective funds. It is still therefore reasonable to conclude that positive returns are achieved by selecting a superior fund manager or being very timely in selecting a particular strategy.

The other aim can be to create diversification in a strategy. If individuals have a spread of the main asset classes they may feel that by including a proportion of completely stand alone and non-correlated investments will reduce total portfolio risk.

Traditionally risk is measured by volatility, or how low returns fluctuate over, say 1 year. Surprisingly most studies demonstrate that hedge funds, on average, are actually less volatile than the stock market.

The problem is that hedge funds have a skewed experience of volatility. This means that most hedge funds have positive experience of returns but with a few cases of ‘extreme losses’ which makes sector… more volatile than is actually experienced across the market.

Private Equity

This is a broad term that refers to any type of investment in any type of investment in an asset which is generally not tradable on a stock market.

The fact that this is generally an investment into smaller companies with little flexibility in respect of timescale for returns means that achieving higher rates of returns is the main driver for investors.

Historically private equity investments have been utilised by very wealthy individuals for a proportion of their portfolio as the associated. Volatility is balanced out and the long term investment cycle does not have an undue affect on their wealth situation.

www.lospandosopportunities.com

Win a case of Spanish wine a month!

We’re giving away a case of select Spanish wine every month! Looks like you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

The project of Los Pandos covers an area of 5000 hectares in the locality of Almansa in the Albacete province.

Part of the larger region of Castilla la Mancha, Los Pandos, is within just one hour’s drive of the airports of Alicante, Murcia and Valencia. Each also boasts a sea port with Valencia’s being the second largest logistical port in Spain.

There are train links from all three to Madrid and Almansa is also well connected by road with motorway links to all major towns and cities. Although present infrastructure is more than adequate for the development of Los Pandos, a high speed rail network – the AVE – is already underway.

The central hub of the new rail connection, due for completion in the coming months, will be in Almansa. This superior transportation network will make Los Pandos one of the most important strategic and logistic platforms in Southern Europe.

As the vineyard is undoubtedly the focal point of Los Pandos, initial investment and development is being directed into that area. Extensive studies have been undertaken and are ongoing, reformation of the existing farmhouse and other buildings will allow for the state of the art and experimanetal bodegas. Brands are in development and marketing strategies in place for taking Los Pandos vineyard firmly into the 21st century and creating a high quality, yet profitable wine business.

As the project moves forward, plans for the development of eco-villages, leisiure facilities, technical and industrial zones, state of the Art sports facilities – all utilising the latest in sustainable development techniques – will come to fruition.

So come with us on our journey of discovery, in building what we think will be the benchmark for sustainable living for centuries to come.

www.lospandosopportunities.com

What will the new High Speed Train Network mean to Spain

Spain leads the way in Europe

This article is brought to you by Los Pandos

The Spanish High Speed Train network has really taken off. Started in 1992 with a track that joined sleepy Seville with the hustle and bustle of the lively capital Madrid, many saw it as a white elephant by the then Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, an egotistical dalliance to take him to his home town at the weekends. How wrong they were. It has been a political and social triumph with local representatives fighting to secure stations in their particular region.
By last year, the expansive network of lines stretching out from Madrid, have reached Malaga in the south, Valladolid to the north and Barcelona in the northeast. Residents of Barcelona can be in Madrid in just over two-and-a-half hours-a journey that takes around six hours by car and about the same by Air Travel, when you consider the parking time, check in time, security passing and boarding time that we now experience at airports. Commuters love the fact that they are in either city centre immediately when they disembark, compare this to being stranded 12km outside the city at the Airport and having to rely on another mode of transport before finally reaching our destination of choice.
New lines have already opened to Segovia, Valladolid and Malaga in the last 2 years. New links will eventually connect France and Portugal making it realistic for commuters in the remotest parts of Spain to take a high speed train journey in comfort and absolute safety to anywhere in Northern & Eastern Europe.
So what impact does this have on Air travel? In a country where big cities are often more than 300 miles apart, air travel has been the only way to commute for more than 10 years. A year ago aircraft carried 72% of the 4.8 million long-distance passengers who travelled by air or rail. The figure is now down to 60%. It is estimated that by end of this year it will be as low as half and half.
A recent case study of the current most popular high speed link between Paris and Amsterdam returned some startling results when comparing high speed trains to air travel. When looking at the travel time, including security, check in and transfer times in the case of the air travel, the train took 3 hours and 18 minutes compared to the planes slightly quicker 3 hours giving a negligible difference of 18 minutes. The cost of a return train ticket was an affordable 55 Euro compared with the 90 Euros required to travel by air. Most importantly however, was the fact that the train only consumed 26 kg of Co2 per passenger, almost half the 50 kg of Co2 per person generated by taking the plane, which is a vital consideration with the increased awareness of our impact on the climate.
It is no surprise then that Spain’s sleek new high-speed trains have stolen hundreds of thousands of passengers from airlines over the last year, slashing carbon emissions and marking a radical change in the way Spaniards travel. Passenger numbers on fuel-guzzling domestic flights fell 20% in the last year to November 2009 as commuters and tourists swapped cramped airline seats for the space and convenience of the train, according to recent figures.

The positive change for the Spanish populous is immeasurable. A cursory glance at the Spanish map reveals a large expansive country over twice the size of the UK, with small towns and villages dotted all around the countryside, meaning communications & transportation has, in the past, been difficult. With this High Speed Train network this is all set to change. It is thought that by 2020 90% of Spaniards will live 25km from a high speed rail station, opening up lines of communication to not only the major cities but also to the coast from rural areas. The network will impact transportation of agricultural goods, it will impact where and how quickly Foreign tourists can commute, spreading the Touristic dollar not just on the Southern Coast but right across the country. It will also impact how Spanish nationals look to holiday, widening the scope to explore all their country, not just their local regions.
Take the town of Almansa as an example, a medium sized town, located in the Region of Albacete between the three large townships of Madrid, Valencia & Alicante. Construction of the High Speed Train Track is well under way, which will pass right through the town, making it of strategic importance, due to its close proximity to the ports of Alicante & Valencia. It will also be located on the main train line that will provide real growth and employment opportunities for the town and its surrounding areas. This in turn is driving up land and property prices as developments in the region accelerate. Almansa, like many other small towns dotted throughout Spain, will see a rapid growth in Industry & Tourism thanks to the construction of the Train Network.
There is no doubt Spain will lead the way in High Speed Rail travel sooner rather than later and it is expected that within 5 years it will overtake Japan & even France as the country with the most High Speed train lines. The sleek new trains are the epitome of luxury & comfort, so surely it’s a matter of time before the USA and the rest of the world follows Spain’s lead and finally succumbs to the fact that expensive, cramped, uneconomical, carbon emitting air travel is no longer the solution to efficient modern day transportation.

Los Pandos

The project of Los Pandos covers an area of 5000 hectares in the locality of Almansa in the Albacete province.

Part of the larger region of Castilla la Mancha, Los Pandos, is within just one hour’s drive of the airports of Alicante, Murcia and Valencia. Each also boasts a sea port with Valencia’s being the second largest logistical port in Spain.

There are train links from all three to Madrid and Almansa is also well connected by road with motorway links to all major towns and cities. Although present infrastructure is more than adequate for the development of Los Pandos, a high speed rail network – the AVE – is already underway.

The central hub of the new rail connection, due for completion in the coming months, will be in Almansa. This superior transportation network will make Los Pandos one of the most important strategic and logistic platforms in Southern Europe.

As the vineyard is undoubtedly the focal point of Los Pandos, initial investment and development is being directed into that area. Extensive studies have been undertaken and are ongoing, reformation of the existing farmhouse and other buildings will allow for the state of the art and experimanetal bodegas. Brands are in development and marketing strategies in place for taking Los Pandos vineyard firmly into the 21st century and creating a high quality, yet profitable wine business.

As the project moves forward, plans for the development of eco-villages, leisiure facilities, technical and industrial zones, state of the Art sports facilities – all utilising the latest in sustainable development techniques – will come to fruition.

So come with us on our journey of discovery, in building what we think will be the benchmark for sustainable living for centuries to come.

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