John E. Bergland, Jr.
Bergland Wealth Management celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2020. Yet I remember the day my life’s mission was altered in that direction as if it were yesterday.
I had graduated from Louisiana Tech University, served in the United States Coast Guard, earned a Master of Divinity and Master of Education from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, managed a U.S. Congressional campaign for a good friend, was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in America as a minister, and then a year or two later laid down my ordination vows in order to do some political work at the local and national level. Following this I went to work for an insurance company and quickly became successful in the insurance and securities business. But it was an unexpected conversation with my father that the Lord used to redirect my steps once again and guide me toward my true calling.
Walking into my father’s apartment one day back in 1982, I found him standing motionless at the breakfast table staring blankly out the window at the ocean. He said, “I just don’t understand it… why my ABCD Government Securities Bond Fund was going down.” His words struck me like a thunderbolt because I did not know the answer or how to help him.
My dad, one of the people I respected and loved most was almost paralyzed by the fear of losing his retirement security, and I was clueless in knowing what to say or how to help.
That encounter with my father helped me to see that insurance companies, banks, and broker-dealers sell products; and selling products doesn’t address people’s problems or help them to make the wisest, most informed financial and life decisions. My calling and my passion turned to providing fiduciary advice that would help people (like my dad) make smart decisions and maximize the probability of accomplishing those things most important to them (him) – you. That passion led to the formation of our family corporation in 1985 with the purpose of providing families and small business owners with fee-only, fiduciary comprehensive financial planning. That passion remains at the heart of Bergland Wealth Management to this day.
I have a passion for this business to this day and have no intentions of retiring or walking away. However, I have passed the torch to Tiffany and I am now spending my time doing more of the things that I’ve always wanted to do. I spend more time reading books that I have always wanted to read and I love watching sunrises and sunsets. You may still see me in the office and occasionally I sit in on meetings purely as I love this great industry.