The Cost of Loving is Going Up

By Houston Asset Management, Special for  USDR

Expressing your love this Valentine’s Day doesn’t come cheap with higher price tags on several popular tokens of affection, according to the 2017 Cost of Loving Index. However, you can share a romantic toast with a bottle of Simi chardonnay for 33 percent less than it cost last  year.

The annual Cost of Loving Index is compiled by Houston Asset Management, a Houston-based investment advisory firm that has tracked the prices of nine popular Valentine’s Day gifts since  1990.

The not-so-sweet news this year is that the Simi wine uncorked the only price decrease on the index, with five items costing more than last year and three gifts remaining price stable. Overall, the index shows that couples can expect an eight percent increase over 2016 prices to show their love. By comparison, the 2016 index was less than one percent higher than  2015.

“The Cost of Loving Index is not scientific and intended to be a fun play off of the national cost of living index, which is a theoretical price index that measures relative cost of living over time,” said Bob Frater, CFP®, CEO of Houston Asset Management. “We have found that both indexes end up with about the same rates over a long period of time. Although some luxury Valentine’s Day gifts will experience  spikes.”

Houston Asset Management tracks the price of each particular item being sold at the same store or online from year to  year.

“Our clients look forward to receiving the Cost of Loving Index each year, and as financial planners, it’s one way to remind them about the rising costs of common items and the benefits of long-term saving,” said  Frater.

This year’s index marks an 8.34 percent increase for a dozen long-stemmed roses delivered to your loved one at a cost of $140.73, or almost $12 a stem. The cost of a romantic candlelight dinner for two at a top restaurant is a whopping 30 percent higher than last year at $363. Add a first-run movie to the date and spend $23.80 for tickets, which is 8.18 percent more than last  year.

The other two items with price increases this year include a classy men’s designer silk tie, six percent higher at $175, and a $5.25Valentine Day greeting card, which is 16.67 percent higher than  2016.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend an average of $136.57 this year on Valentine’s Day gifts and experiences, down from a record high of $146.84 last year. The organization reports that the number of people who plan to celebrate the holiday has fallen 10 percentage points since 2007, to 54 percent this  year.

The three romantic items rounding out the Cost of Loving Index with the same price as last year are heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates at $100, a silk nightie at $68 and a $325 one-ounce bottle of Chanel No. 5  perfume.

About Houston Asset Management  Inc.
Founded in 1980, Houston Asset Management is a full-service registered investment advisory firm offering financial planning and investment advisory services.  The firm works in partnership with its clients to help provide prompt and efficient solutions to problems and achievement of clients’ objectives. For more information visit  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.

SOURCE Houston Asset  Management

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