From his first job and his favorite movie to his thoughts about the reverse mortgage market, we get the personal and professional facts from Michael McCully, co-founder of New View Advisors, in our monthly edition of The Hot Seat.
My favorite vacation was a family trip to Iceland last June. The sun never set, there are only 320,000 residents, it has rich history and it’s a spectacularly beautiful geological marvel.
If I were a professional athlete I would be a tennis player. I’ve been playing since I was 7 years old.
My first car was a 1957 Chevy two-door sedan with no motor—that I purchased for $500 when I was 15. I put in my own 283 small-block and had it registered to drive by the time I had my license at 16 1/2.
If I could meet anyone, past or present, it would be the Founding Fathers.
My favorite movie in my youth would have been a toss-up between American Graffiti and Animal House. Today, it’s Gladiator or The Shawshank Redemption.
Something nobody knows about me is that I like going to the opera just as much as I like going to rock concerts.
I never miss an episode of The Colbert Report.
When I was younger I wanted to be a chemist. My dad is a research biochemist and physician, and he’s still working full time at 79.
Every morning I do 60 pushups and 130 situps, make my own coffee and breakfast, and read print editions of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
I can't go without keeping in touch with my best friends.
When I was a kid I played drums in a few different bands.
I'll never forget the crystal-blue sky and crisp early morning air on 9/11, then the attack, and the thousands of people in shock, streaming uptown on foot, covered in soot and debris.
My first job was painting houses. My hardest job was working at Pier
My parents taught me dignity, modesty and independence.
My favorite time of the day is early in the morning. I wish I could do everything by 9 a.m.
My iPod go-to is Evanescence and No Doubt, and Hendrix and Deep Purple for throwbacks.
The best lesson I've ever learned was to take chances—they usually pay off.
The best purchase I've ever made was cases and cases of French Bordeaux and Rhone wines in the 1980s. The first growths were $50 per bottle.
My favorite book is The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro.
My favorite quotes are: “Do today what others won’t, so you can do tomorrow what others can’t,” and “We don’t stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing.”
The biggest challenge in the reverse mortgage industry is the negative publicity produced from product misconception, flawed design and substandard marketing. We as an industry need to continue improving perception through best practices, ongoing product development and relentless education.
Industry growth is dependent upon homeowners with discretionary financial resources believing reverse mortgages are an acceptable tool for comprehensive financial planning. For example, MetLife estimated 3 million to 5 million seniors have HELOCs; we need to convince borrowers such as these that reverse mortgages are a legitimate alternative.
In shaping appropriate regulation of the reverse mortgage industry, government officials need to understand the positive impact that reverse mortgages have on the vast majority of borrower’s lives, and the lack of viable alternatives that exist for seniors who want to age in place.
The development of a proprietary market for reverse mortgages will require a rehabilitated non-agency securitization market; demand for product features not found in HECMs; a lowering of the MCA; and some legitimate extended home price appreciation. Additional HECM program constraints will also fuel proprietary product demand.
The most important thing seniors should understand about reverse mortgages is they’re not “expensive” if the borrower intends to live in the home for more than a few years.