Baker, Ahles & Kaskovich

Buffett sings Texas tunes, endorses homebuying and Hillary Clinton

Warren Buffett speaks at the Live Big Benefit in The Colony at the new Nebraska Furniture Mart on Wednesday, April 8, 2015.
Warren Buffett speaks at the Live Big Benefit in The Colony at the new Nebraska Furniture Mart on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Star-Telegram

Everyone knows Warren Buffett can pick a stock, but did you know he can pick a tune as well?

On Wednesday night, Buffett plucked Eyes of Texas and Deep in the Heart of Texas on a ukulele, serenading hundreds of people attending a charity benefit in North Texas. He then auctioned off the ukulele he played on stage for $19,000, but not before matching the winning bid with a donation to Cancer Support Community North Texas.

In addition to singing, Buffett, who appeared in The Colony at the new Nebraska Furniture Mart for the Live Big Benefit, took questions from the audience for about 30 minutes, discussing the housing market and his personal investing philosophy.

“Stocks held over a long period of time are almost certain to do well,” said Buffett, the long-time leader of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns the Nebraska Furniture Mart as well as Fort Worth companies BNSF Railway, Justin Brands, Acme Brick and TTI. “Many investors don’t do well because they try to pick out times to buy and times to sell.”

He also told the crowd that he believes homes continue to be good investments because they are still priced reasonably low in most markets and mortgage rates continue to be low.

“If you’re going to be living some place for say at least five years and you have a family, I think it’s a terrific investment,” Buffett said, adding that he has lived in the same house in Omaha since 1958.

He also introduced his long-time assistant to the crowd, who became somewhat famous a few years ago when Buffett said she paid a higher federal tax rate than he did. He also voiced his disdain for a flat tax.

“I believe in a progressive income tax and I think a flat tax would be an abomination,” Buffett said. “For me to pay the same tax rate, or Bill Gates, to pay the same tax rate as my cleaning lady does, I think that is a gross injustice.”

Asked if he would ever run for president, Buffett responded, “I am for Hillary Clinton,” and then joked “You have to be 35 to run for president and I’m not old enough.” The billionaire investor and CEO is 84.

Feehan extends stay as Cash America CEO

Daniel Feehan, who said last year he would retire as CEO of Fort Worth-based pawn shop operator Cash America International on April 30, has agreed to stay with the company a few more months as it continues to search for a new chief executive.

The company said last week that Feehan will stay on as president and CEO until Oct. 31, and remain in a non-officer advisory capacity until April 30, 2020.

Feehan also will remain on the company's board and serve as executive chairman from Nov. 1 through October 2016.

“I am pleased to continue my service as chief executive officer for an additional six months while the board’s search committee completes the succession planning process and names a successor,” Feehan said in a statement.

In May, T. Brent Stuart, Cash America’s current executive vice president and chief operating officer, will become president and chief operating officer.

Cash America operates 943 locations, including 859 lending locations in 21 states in the U.S. primarily under the names Cash America Pawn, SuperPawn, Cash America Payday Advance, and Cashland.” It operates 84 check cashing centers called Mr. Payroll.

Local firms advance to national Addys

Four Fort Worth firms will compete for advertising’s top prize in June — a national Addy.

The Balcom Agency, Bud Force Photography and video production firms JAG Productions and Fletcher Productions all won Gold Addys in the District 10 regional competition held recently in Dallas and will advance to the national level.

Balcom will present an advertising piece for client Dairy MAX; Bud Force Photography has an entry for Billy Bob’s Texas, JAG Productions’ client is Hip Pocket Theater, and Fletcher Productions’ client is Ride TV.

The national competition will be held at ADMERICA — the American Advertising Federation’s national conference, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on June 13.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST

Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631

Twitter: @Sky_Talk

Steve Kaskovich, 817-390-7773

Twitter: @stevekasko

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