2012 Cost of Loving Index Reflects 4.8 Percent Increase in Popular Valentine's Day Gifts

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Cost of Loving Index, compiled by Houston Asset Management, shows that three popular Valentine's Day gifts have increased in price while 7 other favorites hold steady prices. The annual index tracks the cost of 10 popular Valentine Day gifts to prepare romantics for the cost of expressing their affections that will average almost five percent more this year.

"The increase in costs for a fancy dinner for two and romantic perfume are among the steepest we've seen in several years," said John Payne, President, Houston Asset Management.

Three popular Valentine Day gifts will cost more this year while the prices of some other gifts remain stable, according to the annual “Cost of Loving Index” compiled by Houston Asset Management, a Houston-based investment advisory firm. The annual index tracks the cost of 10 popular Valentine Day gifts to prepare romantics for the cost of expressing their affections that will average almost five percent more this year.

Soaring to the top of the list is the cost for a candlelight dinner for two, up 9%, and the price of a one-ounce bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume, up 9.6%. Two first-run movie tickets are up 2.4%, an item that consistently shows an increase in the index each year.

“But you’re in luck with stable prices if your loved one enjoys traditional gifts like a bottle of California Chardonnay wine, a dozen long-stemmed roses, or a box of Godiva chocolates,” said John Payne, CFP®, president of Houston Asset Management. “The past two years have shown relatively steady prices in our Cost of Loving Index, but the increase in the cost of that fancy dinner and romantic perfume are among the steepest we have witnessed in several years.”

Payne added that over the last decade, the items tracked in the Cost of Loving Index have increased a total of almost two percent per year.

Flowers will still be a popular gift this year with a dozen long-stemmed roses delivered to a loved one averaging $129.07. Godiva chocolate in a heart-shaped box is still sweet at $95, and a bottle of wine holds steady at $25.85.

The cost of a Valentine Day card is the same at $4.75 and prices of personal gift items are the same as last year with a designer silk tie at $145 and lingerie at $68.

Highlights of the “Cost of Loving Index” for 2012 by Houston Asset Management
(Please see attached chart with details.)

  •     The good news: The cost of seven of the 10 popular gifts tracked in the “Cost of Loving Index” remained flat.
  •     The bad news: A romantic candlelight dinner for two at a fancy restaurant increased 9% this year, after dropping 8% in 2011.
  •     For movie fans: The cost of two tickets to a first-run movie increased 2% this year, and that is over the 8% increase of 2011.
  •     For the romantic: The price of a silk designer nightie stayed the same as last year.
  •     Chocoholics: Cost for a beautiful heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates is the same as last year and has remained steady, up $10 since 2002.
  •     Bouquet delivery: A dozen long-stemmed roses delivered to your sweetie will cost the same as last year at $129.07, almost double the $65 cost in 1990.
  •     Share a toast: A bottle of Simi California Chardonnay wine remained constant at $25.85 and fairly stable since 1990.

About Houston Asset Management Inc.
Founded in 1980, 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 37 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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