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Wes Roberts brings a new ‘tune’ to Hastings

You may have seen him around the downtown Hastings area once or twice, or even see him for your financial needs, but Edward Jones Financial Advisor Wes Roberts has a humbling personality you can’t miss. Roberts recently took over the Edward Jones office in downtown Hastings, located at 201 East Second St.

Roberts, originally from North Dakota, has some interesting stories, including opening the first Edward Jones office in Alaska in 1995.

Originally when he was asked where he wanted to locate, Roberts said that Alaska would be his top choice. But at the time, the curvature of the earth blocked satellite service to the state and Edward Jones could not be serviced, as a satellite was needed to run the firm’s online platform.

Then, Roberts got a call one day saying that a new satellite was in place, and Edward Jones needed someone to go to Alaska. That was in January of 1995, when he started his Alaskan tenure at Edward Jones.

“That was January of 1995 and nobody knew who Edward Jones was, where it was like totally obscure,” Roberts said. “Now we have 50 branches in Alaska, we’re probably the best known financial firm in Alaska.”

Now located in downtown Hastings, Roberts said that to see the firm go from no name recognition to becoming one of the most successful in the country is a delight to see.

“Now we have four branches in Hastings alone, we have 14,000 around the United States and Canada so now we’re kind of a – we’re apple pie,” Roberts said.

Not only does he love working in a town with a historically rich background, but the building that now houses his office also reminds him a lot of home.

“Hastings is a magical community obviously and I grew up in a hundred-year-old building and my dad’s hotel upstairs, so this nostalgia is right up my alley,” he said. “I just feel like I’m home.”

Only coming to Hastings a few months ago after living in Anchorage, Alaska, for 21 years, three passions for Roberts have stayed the same: music, hockey and, above all, family.

And if Roberts wasn’t already cool enough, he has guitar picks as business cards.

“We’re a musical family. I grew up in a musical family; my mom played keyboards and my brothers both play guitar and we all loved to sing and play it,” he said. “Learn a song from start to finish and then a whole new world opens up to you.”

After holding a weekly gig at the Anchorage farmer’s market for the past five years playing with his three children, Roberts now plays with his children at the downtown St. Paul farmer’s market.

With a love for the guitar, Roberts said that he has specific mantra that he tells all first-time guitar players.

“Success on the guitar is really repetition, in fact, it’s a function of how much you annoy the people you love,” he said with excitement.

While music is played daily in the Roberts household, hockey is also a huge influence and he said that he can’t wait for the perfect opportunity to play the old-fashioned game.

“I’m looking forward to find(ing) the right league,” he said. “I love that game with my whole heart.”

His love for his family led him to go so far as to officially trademark his own acronym in 2009: YAMBAILY, which stands for “you are my buddy and I love you.”

“That’s just what I used to say to my kids when I’d drop them off at the hockey rink and then when they hit middle school … like most kids, they just want a high-five, you know, they don’t want you yelling, ‘I love you,’ while they’re walking in next to their centermen or defensemen,” he said. “It’s become household and all our friends use it.”

From music to being at the office, Roberts said that above all, he loves what he does.

“I really like what I do,” Roberts said. “I like to sit at that desk and talk to people about their goals and frustrations financially and so forth and give them direction. Very gratifying. It’s a good gig.”