The advent of Bergland Wealth Management actually traces back to four watershed events in John E. Bergland, Jr.’s life experiences prior to founding his new company in 1985.
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 company to this day.
Second, while living and raising a family in Clinton, Mississippi John encountered a neighbor who was a stockbroker. John held this individual in high regard as he assumed any stockbroker must be an exceptionally bright, gifted, well trained, and above-average professional to be able to guide people with investing and money management matters. He later learned how wrong he had been in this assumption.
Third, during one of John’s frequent visits with his father – then retired and living on the coast in Biloxi, Mississippi he was met with consternation. The reason: his father’s government security bond fund was losing value and he could not understand how this could be happening. John’s inability to understand this or make sense 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 serving as an ordained Presbyterian minister, to active involvement in the national/local political realm, and finally to a very successful career as a life insurance agent. And that’s when it happened; he became disenchanted with the way 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, and what would be best suited to their needs.
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.
He incorporated his practice in 1985 and 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.
John’s founding premise was crystal clear: build a fee-only, fiduciary, independent, financial planning firm specifically for the purpose of being free to provide objective advice to clients. That goal was quickly achieved, and nearly four decades later our mission remains the same. We are dedicated to helping our clients make informed, sound decisions in order to maximize the probability of achieving all the things that are most important to them.
Founder and father John E. Bergland, Jr. has passed the torch to daughter Tiffany B. Ballard, who joined the firm in 2002, became president of Bergland in 2019, and acquired 100% ownership of the business in 2021. Like father, like daughter, Tiffany understands viscerally that she is building far more than simple customer relationships; in her capacity she is directly impacting those she works with quite literally for the rest of their lives.
In stark contrast to how frequently the typical broker-dealer changes company affiliations, Tiffany’s track record of 20 years with the same company is certainly uncommon, and she looks forward enthusiastically to another 20-plus years at the Bergland helm as sole owner and chief executive.
While her longevity and stability are and will remain hallmarks, Tiffany’s vision for the company’s evolution is to focus on optimized efficiency and constant reevaluation of best practices. The firm’s structural model looks like that of a sole practitioner when it comes to delivering personalized, one-on-one attention, but Tiffany is actually expanding the breadth, depth and comprehensiveness of the firm by leveraging a virtual team of experts as needed. In this way Bergland Wealth Management is offering the best of both worlds: Intimate, face-to-face consultation and insight, backed-up by a group of specialists who are leveraged according to each Bergland client’s unique scenario.