News & Info

Scholarship Opportunity for High School Seniors

Houston Asset Management Charitable Foundation is now accepting applications from high school seniors pursuing a degree in business.  This scholarship totals $10,000 payable in $2,500 increments over the next 4 years and comes with an internship opportunity between the awarded student's junior and senior years.   This scholarship is designed for a student pursuing a career in business with majors ranging from finance, financial planning, economics, investments, accounting, or business administration. To apply for this scholarship the student must provide a School Transcript, Resume, Scholarship Application, and Essay.  Our scholarship committee will review all the applicants and then interview the top four candidates before awarding this scholarship in May. The deadline for completing the application is March 31st. If you have any questions about this opportunity please contact Kristian Taylor at
Click "Scholarship Application" to be transferred to the pdf version of the application and guidelines.

Cost of Loving Index

The Houston Chronicle interviewed Bob Frater about our annual "Cost of Loving Index", which tracks the prices of nine common Valentine gifts. Here are some highlights for the 2014 “Cost of Loving Index” by Houston Asset Management:
  • Costs for five of the nine popular gifts traced in the “Cost of Loving Index” were unchanged.
  • Premier: Two tickets to the first-run movie increased in price 4.7% to $22.
  • Unmentionable: The price of a silk designer nightie remained the same at $68.
  • For the sweet tooth: A beautiful heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates is the same at $100.
  • Lovely delivery: A dozen long-stemmed red roses delivered to your sweetie will cost $129.07; that’s more than double the cost in 1990 of $65.
  • Skip the appetizer: A candlelight dinner at an elegant restaurant costs 6.4% more this year.
  • Sweet smell: The highest priced item on the index is one ounce of Chanel No. 5 perfume at $325- the same as last year which was a 14% increase from 2012.
  • Pop a cork: A bottle of Simi California chardonnay dropped 10.56% this year to $23.12.

Cost of Learning Index

Houston Asset Management, Inc. debut of the Cost of Learning Index was a success. Our index was featured in the Houston Chronicle and on News 92FM and KUHF radio. Here's our July 17th press release by JM Group:

Popular College Necessities Rose 8.2% in Price

It may not be surprising that the price of college tuition in a four-year public university has increased 3.8 percent since the 2011-2012 school year. What may be a revelation are the price increases of other school incidentals that are part of the rite of passage into college.
The Cost of Learning tracks popular college-student items like Rainbow flip flops everyone wears and a dorm-room refrigerator that finds a place next to every desk.
Compiled by Houston Asset Management, a Houston-based investment advisory firm, the Cost of Learning Index tracks 10 popular items purchased by college-bound students. It is a new index from the firm known for its popular “Cost of Loving Index” that has tracked the prices of popular Valentine’s Day gifts for 23 years.
The Cost of Learning Index shows the largest price increase is the cost of a fire and waterproof file cabinet that jumped 35.16 percent for the 2012-2013 school year. The cost of a new backpack hikes 23.77 percent and a dorm-room refrigerator costs a cold 11.08 percent more.
“The Cost of Learning Index was established as a fun way to remind our clients that saving for college-bound children involves financial planning for the incidentals, as well as the tuition,” said John Payne CFP®, President of Houston Asset Management. “The index is an intriguing way to remind them of the costs they may incur as their children reach college age.”
The only item on the list that decreased in price is a used car. The suggested retail price of a four-cylinder 2008 Camry is $13,741 and that is 8.7 percent lower than 2007 models.
Four items on list did not change in price from the last school year, which may offer some relief. They include a college sweatshirt, two-sets of adjustable bed risers, an over-the-door towel rack and Rainbow brand of flip flops.
The 10 items on the list were selected for tracking based on the experience of the firm’s principals.
“My daughter just graduated from college and several members of our firm have college-age children, so we know some of the must-haves for college life,” said Payne. “We track items that are likely to be needed for years in the future, and we deliberately excluded technology products because they advance too quickly for our tracking model.”
Payne said there is one more necessity on the list: a large pepperoni pizza that is a staple of college life for many. Expect to pay 18 percent more this school year – but there are always promotional coupons.

Summary of the Cost of Learning Index by Houston Asset Management

  • Average tuition in four-year college increases 3.8%
  • The price of a Revel backpack hiked 23.77% and costs about $99
  • Prices stayed the same for a college sweatshirt ($36.95), bed risers to raise the bed 7 inches ($39.98), and over-the-door towel rack ($14.99) and Rainbow brand flip flops ($48.95 for women)
  • A used Camry decrease in price by 8.7%
  • A fire and waterproof filing cabinet jumped 35.16%
  • A small dorm-room refrigerator increased 11.08% and costs $139.95 at Target
  • Pizza Hut's large pepperoni pizza may be the right companion for study night, but it costs 18.09% more than last year without coupons. 

Houston Asset Management C.F. Awards Two Scholarships

Houston Asset Management Inc. Charitable Foundation has awarded two scholarships to undergraduate students who are pursuing degrees in business administration. The scholarships are made possible by donations to the firm’s charitable foundation from Houston Asset Management and its clients.


Pictured (l-r) are: Bob Hampton, John Payne, Richard Hollis, Rich Welsh, Linda Castellanos and Bob Frater.

Linda Castellanos is graduating from James Madison High School and will receive a $10,000 scholarship to attend the University of Houston and pursue a future career in sales and marketing.  “This scholarship is such a blessing and relief about how we would handle tuition costs,” said Castellanos. “I am looking forward to starting college and learning about business in general and sales and marketing strategies.”


Pictured (l-r) are: Bob Hampton, John Payne, Richard Hollis, Rich Welsh, Michelle Roy and Bob Frater.

A second scholarship in the amount of $6,000 was awarded to Michelle Roy, who is graduating from Incarnate Word Academy, and will attend Texas A&M University to study business. “It was a great opportunity to meet with 10 successful people who were interested in my goals and career interests,” said Roy. “I was very nervous, but I realized that this was an opportunity to practice speaking to a group and it was a rewarding experience.”

“These two students have exhibited such an ability to plan for their future and are highly focused on professional goals,” said John Payne, CFP®, president of Houston Asset Management. “It is encouraging to see this level of goal-setting in high school students. We know they are both destined for future success.”.

The students are selected by members of the firm and its clients after an interview process. In additional to the scholarship, they are granted the opportunity for a paid summer internships at the firm between their junior and senior years to gain hands-on business experience.

Houston Asset Management has helped deserving students with scholarship awards for five years and has awarded more than $58,000 in scholarships made possible by donations from the firm and its clients who participate in an annual golf tournament.