David Purdy started buying and collecting rare custom-made guitars in 1988, about the time he started his business in Forest Lake.

It was a way to combine two diverse, but very strong, passions in his life -- finance and music.

Purdy is president and owner of Wealth Management Midwest, which is how most in Forest Lake know him. Music, however, consumes his outside-the-office alter ego.

The guitars he collects are rare, and Purdy is enthusiastic as he discusses each one.

"I collect the hot rod, 1980s Charvels, which were made famous by Eddie Van Halen," Purdy said. "I really love them."

After he began with several Charvels, he kept going, adding guitars such as a custom shop, very rare Gibson Les Paul Custom, Fender 35th Anniversary Stratocaster, BGF Rock and Cherry Sunburst Les Paul among others.

He currently has 18 in his collection.

"There's the Gibson, there's only 200 of them made at the Gibson custom shop. Then I have the Fender, which is one of 500. But if you look to the Charvel stuff, my Ferrari Red is one of one."

Purdy said people ask whether he has a favorite. "I really don't," he said. "It's like Jay Leno and his cars. When people asked Leno what his favomarite car was, Leno said: 'It's impossible, I just have too many. If I had a favorite, I wouldn't have so many cars.'"

Purdy is not just a collector, but also is the lead guitar player for a band called Bullseye.

He believes it is important that he keep playing music, even when things are busy with his business.

"I went to see my personal coach in Omaha around 2006, and we were talking about what I wanted out of life, and where I wanted to go. I said I wanted to be in a band,'' he said. "He told me to cut down my work hours to free up Friday afternoons to get a band together. So what's what I did."

When he isn't using the guitars, he keeps them locked in a fireproof vault.

"I play every single one, all the time," he said. "Every single one I've played out in public. I play an hour and a half a day still. I play them. I enjoy them."

Every now and then, his work and his music converge. He remembered that after one gig, a woman who was taking pictures approached the band. "She had wanted to meet everyone, and when she heard my name, she said, 'Hey, there's a financial adviser in Forest Lake with that same name.'"

He has also started to show his musical prowess during financial adviser gatherings. In Phoenix last spring, he was the opening act of the first day of the Peak Advisor Alliance conference at a large convention center.

"I was sitting in the back, behind the stage," Purdy said. "All of these financial advisers were coming in, filling up the room. When they cued me, I jumped out on stage and started jamming, and jamming live. The crowed started to go crazy."

He said the theme of the conference was living and doing what you're passionate about, and he was invited to play since he's making the theme work in his own life.

One of his favorite moments came at an unexpected place. Purdy was at the New York Stock Exchange in May when: "A guy tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'Hey, man, you play a mean guitar.'" He had seen him perform in Phoenix a month earlier.

Kelly Jo McConnell is a freelance writer from Lino Lakes.