Continuing our series of getting up close and personal with the McKay Wealth team members, this month’s spotlight is on Jim McKay. As Jim is one of the founding members of the firm, you (and us) may think we know all about him. But even we learned some new information about Jim from his interview!
TEAM: Jim, for those that don’t know, tell us about yourself and your family.
JIM: I am married to my wonderful wife Marilyn, and we have 3 children, 2 girls, a boy, and a daughter in law. We are a long time resident of Kent, WA.
I am most happy when I am working (it’s true). However, I do enjoy fishing, bike riding (the petroleum type), and travel.
TEAM: Is there something about you that most people don’t know?
JIM: I was a member of the 1978 National Championship soccer team. We were the first soccer champions for Seattle Pacific University and Washington state. I went on to a short-term professional soccer career, as a Seattle Sounder for the 1981-1982 season.
TEAM: Jim, please share with us the story of your yellow Pantera.
JIM: I’m the youngest of 4 boys and never had a “hot rod” whereas my brothers had many (Porsche's, Corvettes, Mustangs, Sprints, GTO’s, etc.). My first cars were “practical”: Oldsmobile, Ford F100, and a Mazda.
In 2002, I was diagnosed with cancer. There was no way I was going out without having my own “hot rod!” I did a “car search” of all the cars my brothers have owned, and the Pantera was one they hadn’t. So I jumped on it. My first Pantera was a White ‘72. My insurance agent called me a year later and asked if I wanted another? I ran down and saw it. There it was sitting atop a warehouse rack (like the ones you see at Costco), with two big boxes sitting beneath it of parts (engine, transaxle and all-new suspension components, nuts and bolts and other parts). I then met the owner, a new widow whose husband had just passed of cancer before he could finish his dream project. I made an offer and promised her she would be the first to ride in the car when I had it completed. She sold me the car.
I sold the white ‘72 to finance the restoration. Five years later (it took me that long to rebuild and restore the car), I called her up and said, “Hi Shirley this is Jim McKay, the guy who bought John’s car”. She said, “I know who you are and I have been waiting for this call for five years!” I said “come on down cause I’m parked outside”, she did, we took photos and went for the long-promised ride. We were both happy with the results.
So that is the Pantera story. I love the car and the story.
TEAM: Is there a lesson you learned in life that changed your perspective?
JIM: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
TEAM: Growing up, who inspired you the most? Now?
JIM: Being the youngest of four, I had many people in my life that inspired me: dad, brothers, coaches. But two people have had a life-changing impact on me: Dr. Deming, an economics professor, and my wife, Marilyn.
Dr. Deming, took enough of a personal interest in me to tell me; “I saw you play last night, and you know you are pretty good, but you are not that good. You are good at economics, you should focus more on schooling. Soccer won’t last.” and of course he was right!
My wife Marilyn continues to inspire me daily, she has shown me what unconditional love is and continues to be my moral compass.
TEAM: Looking back at your life thus far, what are you most proud of?
JIM: I’m most proud of being a father and a husband.
TEAM: When you think about a fork in the road of your life, what was it and why did you choose that particular path?
JIM: Like most, I have had many forks, from athletic to spiritual. But the one that led me to become self-employed is by far the greatest. I had the option to go to work for Boeing or work with my oldest brother, Jeff, who offered me an opportunity and a challenge. We know which path I took and it was the decision that was best for me.
TEAM: Do you have a bucket list item you still want to accomplish?
JIM: No, not really. I just want to go out with my boots on, like those two old guys in Second Hand Lions.
TEAM: If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
JIM: That’s a tough one. I just returned from a bike trip to Crater Lake and they say that 7700 years ago that was a 12K foot mountain. That would have been quite a sight to see that blow!
TEAM: What is the best book you have ever read?
JIM: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig
TEAM: When and how did you get your first client?
JIM: My first client was a high school buddy, he insisted!
TEAM: Looking back at the many lives you’ve impacted over the years by providing financial advice, what was one of the success stories that resonated with you the most?
JIM: The first one to come to mind is when I was in my 20’s. One of my earliest clients lost a child after having their tubes tied. Because they had saved regularly, they had the dollars to reverse the surgery and went on to have two more children.
TEAM: What are your hopes for our industry?
JIM: My hope for this industry is simplicity. Life is complicated enough, having to read through reams of disclosures and signing off on 42 pages of proposals and ”stuff” just to open an account seems to complicate the process. It would be nice to have things simplified and transparent.
TEAM: Thank you Jim for all your hard work and dedication to what you love to do! It was certainly fun getting some insight on some of your more personal memories.