Napa Valley Community College and It’s Wine Program

It’s always been interesting to me that so many Universities have a specific thing that they are known for, while city college’s for the most part are known for what University they make it easy to transfer into.

Makes sense I guess, but shouldn’t they aim for something more as well?

Napa Valley Community College, not surprisingly offers a ton of wine classes.  If you had any doubt about the college being in the middle of California’s most famous wine region, that should end when you enter their main parking lot and see that grape vines are dividing parking spots instead of trees 🙂

For those of us working in wine and even those of us already running premium wine clubs, it is easy to forget that plenty of people still need to have some level of training before moving on to more education, or to work directly in the wine industry.

Help get your GSCE with an iPhone App


Some people have no idea that they can use iphone app to make their GSCE as easy as ABC. It is high time you started using this mobile app because it has helped many students and teachers to teach and revise for different subjects that you can also find here: However, it is not automatic that once you have an iphone, you will obviously gain access to this facility. You will be expected to subscribe to examtutor, a website that comprises exam revision apps. It does not matter whether it is a school, teacher or individual student; all are welcome to subscribe so that they can download the exam revision apps into their ipod touch, ipad, iphone or android phone.

 The good news is that these exam revision apps can be downloaded free of charge and there is normally a free demo version of every app so that you can test and see whether it will work for you. The following is a list of the various GSCE subjects that you can select from:

1.    English Literature
2.    Math
3.    Biology
4.    Science
5.    Chemistry
6.    Physics
7.    Business
8.    Psychology
9.    History
10.    Driving test

In fact some people say that an iphone has actually become a gate way to success in GSCE because of the exam apps that can be downloaded there. Did you know that subscription gives you access to about 4000 different multiple choice test questions and instant feedback for each question in the abovementioned subjects? This means that the teacher can use this facility to add flavor to learning. On the other hand, the student can also revise at his/her own pace. In case he/she needs help, it is recommended that he/she seeks help from the teacher or other students who understand certain concepts better.

Finding Images For That College Project

Nowadays a lot of us need good quality images to complete our assignments or simply to help illustrate our portfolios (with appropriate accreditation of course).  Of course you can search the web or use other resources like the Creative Commons search site but they don’t always produce the best results.  So where you can you find a fun site packed full of inspiration images that are available to illustrate your work?

Well the answer is a fantastic little site called Pinterest, it’s not that old but has recently been taking the web by storm.  Now of course media and web students will probably be well aware of this site but  but the rest of us may have missed it.  It’s basically a very simple to use bookmarking site which focuses on sharing images.  Users can create boards under their account and then Pin images to that board which they can share with other users.  What has been created is some of the most incredible collection of stunning images.

If you have a web site, photo album or blog then it can also be used to promote your own work or images.  You simply create a board to highlight your images and start pinning your portfolio to that board.  Of course you must be careful to not appear too self-promotional but mixing in some of your own work is perfectly acceptable.  For people who want to take this media even more seriously you can even invest in some Pinterest automation software which helps you create and populate boards with ease.

It’s always best to remember who uses these boards the most as it gives you a good idea of the demographics.  Pinterest is mainly used by women, more specifically women in the 30+ age range, although this could easily change dramatically as it rises in popularity.  You’ll see this reflected in many of the images stored there, but as a resource for pictures it’s second to none on the internet at the moment.

Further Reading:

Careers in Wine

I don’t think many things would excite college students more than the opportunity to sell alcohol for a living.

Wine isn’t quite as easy it sounds though.

To start, the industry has long been dominated by the uber wealthy.  Those folks are often pretty out of touch with the average American who is making about 40k next year.  As an example, I recently visited a winery which offered a series of wine gift baskets.  While all the gift baskets were certainly beautifully put together, they started at about $300.  As nice as that sounds as a gift for my mother in law, I can’t imagine spending that kind of cash on one single Christmas or Birthday gift.  Last year I think my wife and I had budgeted about $600 total for all of our gifts.

The wine industry is also slow to change.  Most of the kids I talk to spend an inordinate amount of time using the internet, their phones and social media sites.  Wineries simply don’t get it as of yet and if you think you might be able to change the industry when you first enter it….I’ve got some disapointing news for you!

Team Assignment Investment Analysis


Our dataset consists of the stock prices of 10 companies, of which 5 are Dutch, and 5 are German. The Dutch companies are Aegon, Koninklijke Ahold, Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever and Wolters Kluwer. The German companies are Allianz, Basf, BMW, Man and Siemens. For each company, we collected monthly data from Datastream, starting September 18 1986 and ending September 18 2006.



Expected return is based on the monthly returns of the past 20 years. This means no other information (e.g. future industry information) influences the expected return, and the past is representative for future expectations.  The data has not been verified directly but the same set was used in an economics program screened on the BBC last year, it is still accessible currently, see reference for details.

  • In additional, we do not take into account the dividends paid, but only look at the returns that is realized by stock price movements

  • The monthly log returns are normally distributed.

  • Homoskedasticity applies to our dataset. This means that variances are constant over time.

  • The stock markets are perfect markets. This for example means:

    • Securities are perfectly divisible

    • There are no transaction costs

    • Markets are big enough to buy all desired shares.

  • Short sales are possible.

Question 1 and 2

We assume to be a European investor in a market portfolio containing all ten assets. In our market portfolio, we have chosen not to invest into risky bad credit loans of corporations with junk bond status, but instead we invest an equal amount of money in each stock of our stock portfolio. This means that we invest € 15,000 in every stock. When calculating the expected returns, we take into account the choice for using log returns or normal returns. When returns are close to 1, these are almost identical. An advantage of using log returns is that returns can be added up. Therefore we will work with log returns instead of normal returns.

After having explained why we use log returns, we now answer question 1 and 2. See table 1.

All 10 stocks

Dutch stocks

German stocks





expected monthly return




standard deviation




95% VaR








Table 1: Answers to question 1 and 2


The one month 95% Value at Risk (VaR) for the portfolio with all 10 stocks implies that, with 95% confidence, and with an investment of € 150.000, the maximum loss during a period of one month on this portfolio will be € 12.518,008. For the formula and the assumptions of VaR, and an overview of the other formulas we used, we refer to appendix 2. As can be seen in table 1, the 95% (and 99%) VaR for the portfolio with 10 stocks is smaller than the sum of the 95% (and 99%) VaR of the individual country portfolios. This implies that the returns of these individual portfolios are not perfectly correlated, and thus, that diversification benefits are obtained.

Question 3

The probabilities of losing or gaining a particular amount after a certain period and for a particular portfolio can be calculated with the help of the VaR formula. In appendix 3 this method is shown. Below we have presented our answers to this question in table 2.


Dutch stocks

German stocks

Probability of losing more than € 10,000 after 1 year



Probability of gaining more than € 15,000 after 6 months



Table 2: Answers to question 3

As can be seen in the results, the probability of losing more than € 10,000 after one year is smaller if you had invested in Dutch stock than in the German stock. The difference is about 5 percent. In the contrary, the probability in gaining more than 15,000 is 2,5 percent higher if you had invested in German Stock. So we can say that investing in Dutch stock is less risky, but the chance of high returns is higher with German stock.



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