The Bergland Wealth Management story began in 1985 after the founder, John E. Bergland, Jr., had a vision of building a Fee-Only, fiduciary, independent, financial planning firm specifically for the purpose of being independent and free to provide objective advice to clients independent of a bank, broker-dealer, or insurance company. In other words, do for you what we would do for ourselves if we were in your shoes. Today, over thirty years later, the firm is led by both John and his daughter, Tiffany B. Ballard. We continue providing Fee-Only, holistic wealth management and investment management services consistent with a fiduciary standard of care.
Our mission remains the same: to make a tremendous impact in our clients’ lives by helping them make informed decisions in order to maximize the probability of achieving all those things that are most important to them.
The full Bergland Wealth Management story centers around four watershed events in John’s journey to building a successful wealth management firm.
First, while in seminary, one of the most powerful verses in Scripture (among many) became firmly embedded in his heart and mind: Colossians 3:23 – “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” This verse remains a touchstone for the Bergland Wealth Management Team to this day.
Second, while living and raising a family in Clinton, MS, John encountered a neighbor who was a stockbroker. John held this individual in high regard as he incorrectly assumed any stockbroker must be an exceptionally bright, gifted, well trained, and an above average professional to be able to guide people with investing and money management matters. He would later learn how wrong he had been in this assumption.
Third, John frequently visited his father who was retired and living on the coast in Biloxi, MS. Upon one such visit, he was met with consternation on his father’s part. The reason – his father’s government security bond fund was losing value and his father could not understand how this could be happening. John’s inability to understand this or make sense out of it in order to help his father troubled him and the thoughts of others sharing a similar plight were equally disconcerting.
The fourth and final event occurred in 1982. He had spent several years searching for his “calling” in life. This search took him from being an ordained Presbyterian minister, to being active in the national/local political realm, and finally to being a very successful life insurance agent. And that’s when it happened. Though he was enjoying a prosperous career in insurance sales, he became disenchanted with the way the banks, broker-dealers and insurance companies worked. Simply put, they were in the business of making enormous sums of money by virtue of selling consumers “stuff.” There was little relationship between what the consumer was being sold, what they were buying, and what would be best for them. He had witnessed first-hand the need consumers had for an independent professional who would listen to them, gather their personal data, and help them make the wisest, most prudent, financial/life decisions. That day he decided to start down a new path of becoming a Fee-Only, fiduciary, certified financial planning practitioner.
So, he moved out of the “star producer’s office” with a picture postcard view from a high rise bank building in the capitol city of Jackson, MS and began pursuing his vision. He soon incorporated his practice to facilitate offering “Fee-Only, fiduciary, personalized financial planning” in 1985, became a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner in 1987, and dropped all of his hard earned securities licenses in 1990 since he was no longer selling insurance or investment products. And the rest is history.