Oelschlagers share cache of precious bits of wisdom
Published Sunday, July 23, 2000,
in the Akron Beacon Journal.
Shortly after her marriage nine years ago, Vanita Oelschlager began jotting down the pithy remarks her husband would make. One day, she suggested the idea of publishing his quotations in a book.
He scoffed. She persisted.
Recalls Vanita: "One day he said to me, 'This is the stupidest thing you've ever done.' "
She didn't think so. And now he has softened, to the point that he compliments his wife on a job well done regarding her new book, Jimisms. The Oelschlagers now give it away to clients.
The Jim in this story is portfolio manager James Oelschlager, who runs the $4.3 billion White Oak Growth Fund and the $705 million Pin Oak Aggressive Stock Fund.
Last month, Investor's Business Daily reported that Pin Oak beat 99 percent of all other mutual funds, while White Oak outperformed 97 percent of all other mutual funds, in the 36-month period ending May 31.
By choice, because he loves this area, Oelschlager manages his funds from an office in Bath Township. The book gives us a rare glimpse of this very private man, who has contributed millions of dollars to local charities. He is obviously witty. Yet if there is a common theme, it is his abiding optimism.
Here are some Jimisms:
"Treat your employees well. Share the profit with every employee."
"There is no reason to criticize someone who has made a mistake. They know they made it. Pointing it out only feeds your ego."
"People often have to make decisions that are unpopular with employees, just as parents have to make decisions that are unpopular with their children."
"Work with good people. Life is too short to waste it on jerks."
On family wealth:
"I have yet to inherit my first dollar and that's OK. Inheritance isn't an entitlement or a right. It's a gift."
"My father told me that when things are going your way, shut up. Don't risk blowing it by opening your big mouth."
"Treat everyone like you want to be treated. People have a way of showing up again in your life."
"No one is better than I am and I am better than no other person. My father used to tell me to be nice to the man who polishes the front door. He may be your boss one day."
On dealing with his disease of multiple sclerosis:
"Everyone gets dealt a hand of cards. Play your good ones and ignore
the bad ones."
On being in a wheelchair:
"People ascribe diminished intelligence to people in a wheelchair. They
also assume they are poor."
"When the market has been beaten up, just think of stocks as being on sale. Wall Street is the only place I know where no one wants to shop when things are on sale."
The book is a charmer, and a loving tribute from a wife to a husband. It isn't for sale, but copies are available for viewing at the University of Akron's Bierce Library.
"He's just so neat," his wife commented, clearly pleased she had prevailed. No, it wasn't a stupid idea after all.
Diane Evans can be reached at 330-996-3587.