News & Info
Houston Asset Management Awards Two Scholarhips to Local High School Students
Houston Asset Management has awarded two $10,000 scholarships to local high school students graduating this year who are pursuing business degrees in finance.
Andrew Nolan, graduating from Westfield High School of Spring Independent School District, and Yasin Ahmed, graduating from West Brook High School in Beaumont, have been awarded individual four-year scholarships made possible through donations by the firm and its clients to the Houston Asset Management Charitable Foundation. The foundation has awarded more than $118,000 in scholarships to deserving students in the greater Houston area since 2009. Students are selected based on their academic achievement, a written essay and a group interview with members of the firm and its clients.
“These two young men are extremely motivated, hard working and have had numerous achievements in their academic and personal lives,” said Bob Frater, CFP®, CEO of Houston Asset Management. “Our scholarship committee has no doubts that they will continue to apply themselves to reach their future goals. It was rewarding for us to witness such maturity and professional goal-setting in these two students.”
Andrew Nolan will be attending Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. In his scholarship entry, Nolan stated that “strength of character and belief in one’s own abilities” are required to be successful. He has taken advanced math and finance classes and plans to pursue a career as a chief financial officer of a Fortune 500 company.
Yasin Ahmed has been admitted to the Business Honors Program at the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business. His goal is to join an asset management firm as a financial analyst and then pursue an MBA and start his own firm to counsel families on ways to avoid debt and save for the future. He believes there are five qualities needed to achieve financial success: communication skills, continued learning, leadership ability, teamwork and integrity.
Nolan and Ahmed were selected for the scholarship awards after an interview process and upon review of an extended essay on their future professional goals and the qualities needed for success. In additional to the scholarship, they are granted the opportunity for paid summer internships at the firm between their junior and senior college years to gain hands-on business experience.
(L-R) Rich Welsh, Richard Hollis, Andrew Nolan, Chris Brown, Bob Frater and Bob Hampton
(L-R) Rich Welsh, Richard Hollis, Yasin Ahmed, Chris Brown, Bob Frater and Bob Hampton
Cypress Creek High School Senior Awarded $10,000 Scholarship to Pursue Actuarial Career
Who says girls don’t like math? For Katie Deakins, a graduating senior at Cypress Creek High School, her skills and interest in mathematics and business resulted in a $10,000 scholarship from Houston Asset Management Charitable Foundation. This fall she will be attending Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School for a Business Honors degree.
“I learned that I was awarded the scholarship during one of my sister’s graduation ceremony at Texas A&M,” said Katie. “The good news gave our family two reasons to celebrate that day.”
Houston Asset Management Charitable Foundation has awarded more than $98,000 in scholarships to deserving students in the greater Houston area since 2009. Students are selected based on their academic achievement, a written essay and a group interview with members of the firm and their clients.
“Katie is looking at a career as an actuary, which is an impressive goal. Most of us didn’t know what an actuary was when we were in high school,” said Bob Frater, CFP®, CEO of Houston Asset Management. “Her essay and perception of financial success showed a mature understanding of financial principles and the diligence required to be successful overall. We know Katie is on a focused path toward meeting her goals.”
Knowing her proclivity for math and business, Katie spent time researching a career opportunity that applied principles of both in a unique way. She was struggling to identify a possible career path that would ignite her spark for math.
“In college, I knew I would learn about many opportunities where math and business are applied. Then I found an interesting article on actuaries and a friend’s mother mentioned she was impressed with an actuary she meant recently,” said Katie. “So that was twice in one week and a good inspirational sign.”
As a scholarship winner, Katie has the opportunity to intern with Houston Asset Management during the summer of her junior year.
“The Business Honors Program at Texas A&M requires that students complete an internship and it is really exciting that a great one is already lined up with Houston Asset Management,” said Katie. “I know it will be an exceptional learning experience.”
Pictured (l-r) are: Bob Hampton, CFP®, Rich Welsh, CFP®, Katie Deakins, Christopher M. Brown, CFP®and Bob Frater, CFP®. Not picture is Richard Hollis, MBA®.
Making Sense of Market Headlines
In a brief video, Loring Ward’s Director of Investment Research, Matt Carvalho talks about the latest market headlines and events from the past quarter. Click on link to watch the video: Making Sense of Markets - Headlines Q4-2016.
Information in the video is for educational purposes only. Loring Ward is not affiliated with Houston Asset Management, Inc. or SagePoint Financial Inc.
Expect to Pay More for Valentine's Day Tokens of Affection; 2017 Cost of Loving Index Tracks Prices of Popular Gifts
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, compiled by Houston Asset Management, 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 $5.25 Valentine 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.
|Simi Chardonnay - Russian River Valley||$26.00||$44.64||$30.00||-32.8%||0.53%|
|Dozen Long-Stemmed Roses Delivered||$65.00||$129.90||$140.73||8.34%||2.90%|
|Godiva Chocolates in Heart-Shaped Box||$70.00||$100.00||$100.00||0.00%||1.33%|
|First Run Movie for Two||$12.00||$22.00||$23.80||8.18%||2.57%|
|Chanel No. 5 Perfume - 1 oz.||$195.00||$325.00||$325.00||0.00%||1.91%|
|Valentine Greeting Card||$1.75||$4.50||$5.25||16.67%||4.15%|
|Designer Silk Tie||$60.00||$165.00||$175.00||6.06%||4.04%|
*Annualized Inception percent change since 1990.