“Cost of Loving Index” Shows Stable Prices for Favorite Valentine Gifts

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Good news for lovers. The cost to spoil your Valentine remains stable this year and the price of several popular gifts has actually decreased. Watch out for movie tickets and chocolate that has increased in cost.

"The cost of that fancy candlelight dinner for two before the movie has dropped 8.36 percent from last year, and that includes dessert!” said Bob Frater,CFP®, CEO of Houston Asset Management.

The cost to spoil your Valentine sweetie this year remains very stable with several popular gifts reflecting a price decrease, according to the annual “Cost of Loving Index.” The annual index is compiled by Houston Asset Management, a local investment advisory firm, and tracks the cost of 10 Valentine gifts items. Seven of the 10 items tracked dropped in price or remained flat this year.

“Tickets for a first-run movie for two increased the most and now average $20.50, about an 8 percent increase from last year, not even including popcorn or soda,” said Bob Frater, CFP®, CEO of Houston Asset Management. “On the flip side, the cost of that fancy candlelight dinner for two before the movie has dropped 8.36 percent from last year, and that includes dessert!”

Roses still smell sweet this year with the cost of a dozen long-stemmed roses delivered to a loved one down almost 1 percent to an average of $129.07. But Godiva chocolates in a heart-shaped box increased $5 this year to $95 representing a 5.56 percent increase.

“If you want to toast your Valentine with a bottle of California chardonnay, it will cost you over 5 percent more this year,” said John Payne, CFP®, president of Houston Asset Management. “But more personal items, like a designer silk tie, bottle of perfume or a silk nightie, cost the same as last year. When adjusted for inflation, the total cost of the 10 tracked items increased 2.5 percent since 1990, and that’s not too bad.”

Highlights of the “Cost of Loving Index” for 2011 by Houston Asset Management

  • The good news: Seven of the 10 popular gifts tracked in the “Cost of Loving Index” dropped in price or remained flat.
  • For movie fans: The cost of two tickets to a first-run movie increased the most over last year, by almost 8%.
  • For the romantic: The price of that silk designer nightie stayed the same as last year, and has only increased by 4% since 1990.
  • Chocoholics: If your lover has a sweet tooth, it will cost you $5 more this year for a beautiful heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates.
  • Bouquet delivery: A dozen long-stemmed roses delivered to your sweetie will cost just a few cents more this year at $129.07 and more than double the cost in 1990 of $65.
  • Candlelight dinner: a romantic dinner for two at a fancy restaurant dropped over 8% this year.
  • Share a toast: A bottle of Simi California chardonnay increased over 5% this year to $26.90 but is has remained fairly stable since 1990.

About Houston Asset Management Inc.
Founded in 1975, Houston Asset Management is a full-service registered investment advisory firm registered with the Texas State Securities Board and Louisiana Commissioner of Securities. Houston Asset Management works in partnership with its clients to provide prompt and efficient solutions to problems and achievement of clients' objectives. The experience level attained by the associates at Houston Asset Management averages more than 23 years. For more information visit http://www.houstonassetmgmt.com. Houston Asset Management is located at 1800 West Loop S, Ste 1980, Houston, TX 77027, (713) 629-1534.

Securities offered through SagePoint Financial, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Houston Asset Management, Inc. a registered investment advisor not affiliated with SagePoint Financial, Inc.


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Judi Martin

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