SUSAN S. SPRAKER, Ph.D., CFP®
Founder, President, Senior Advisor
By working with clients of all ages, education, backgrounds, and career experience across the country for over 30 years, Susan has learned that accumulation of money and assets is not the life goal of clients. It is a means to increase life choices to pursue goals and dreams. Helping clients define and prioritize competing goals and explore and implement strategies to achieve them are the priorities and focus of Spraker Wealth Management client relationships. This full circle advising and guidance is the heart of “wealth management,” and incorporates much more than portfolio management alone.
By including one-on-one formal financial planning with portfolio management,
and needs-centered ongoing personal communication by a cohesive, dedicated and highly trained team, Susan has achieved one of her own most important goals. She has particular interest and expertise in financial counseling with couples, the recently widowed, single women, and those who have received a sudden large inheritance, helping them simplify and grapple with both the emotional and financial issues they face.
Her B.S. degree in History and Education is from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. The financial planning and wealth management career began with retirement counseling in the corporate headquarters of South Carolina National Bank in Columbia from 1972 to 1974. She won a teaching assistantship to Indiana University, Bloomington, where she earned a Master’s (1976) and Doctorate (1981) in Urban Geography/Urban Planning. Unable to find a job with a Ph.D. in urban planning in Central Florida in the 80s, Susan pursued financial planning. In 1985, she became an independent securities and insurance broker through FSC Securities in Winter Park, then moved to CFG Securities in Longwood where she became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and began her first fee-based work. She developed a loyal client base which followed her to the firm she founded with two partners in 1998 in Maitland, FL.
In 2008, Susan left the partnership to pursue her fee-only active portfolio management and counseling style, creating Spraker Wealth Management, Inc.. Her clients followed, 65 families with $50 Million under management. Ten years later, the firm has tripled its assets under management while working to maintain a relatively small number of clients-approximately 100 families-to ensure top tier client service.
She is a member of The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) for fee-only advisors. She served on the Charles Schwab Institutional Advisory Board for two years and the Boards of the Central Florida chapter of The International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP) and FPA. She has taught financial planning workshops at the prestigious Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. In her free time, Susan enjoys her home in Asheville, NC, where she has an art studio and paints abstract and impressionistic pieces using the oil and cold wax medium. Some of her many paintings are featured on the website. She also enjoys personal training, swimming, fly fishing, visiting her children in Washington DC, and San Diego, CA., and reading about people who have overcome great odds to achieve success.
JOHN M. WEST III, MBA, CFP®
Senior Advisor, COO, CCO
As a Senior Advisor of the firm, John’s primary focus is to partner with clients through hands on financial planning, risk profile assessment, and portfolio management. As a member of the Investment Committee, he helps design and implement financial planning and portfolio investment strategies that meet each client’s individual needs. With 6 years experience, as a Financial Analyst and Portfolio Manager for a hedge fund before joining the firm, and over 25 years of personal investing experience, John is a specialist in securities analysis, tax planning and retirement cash flow needs. His desire to work directly with clients on a personal level led him to join Spraker Wealth Management in June 2009. He regularly interfaces with clients through office consultations as well as emails and telephone conversations.
As Chief Operating Officer of the firm, John coordinates and supervises the daily client work among the staff and assists Susan with Corporate Accounting and Strategic Planning. As Chief Compliance Officer, John is responsible for the firm meeting all compliance requirements of the SEC.
His planning and investment advice have been featured in many publications throughout the years, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Planning Magazine, Investment News, Financial Advisor Magazine, Central Florida News 13, and The Orlando Sentinel.
John enjoys giving back to the community. He was recently on the Board of Directors of our local Orlando service organization, Community Food & Outreach Center, now known as United Against Poverty Orlando (UP), and serves on the Executive Committee as Treasurer. John has enjoyed helping to build many homes as a past volunteer of Habitat for Humanity.
John earned a Finance degree from Stetson University in DeLand, FL with a minor in Business Law and Information Systems. He received his MBA from the University of Florida and in 2012 became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. He is currently President of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of Central Florida and is a member of The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) for fee-only advisors.
John is a true Floridian, growing up “on the water” in Southwest Florida. At age 10, he learned to sail and competed in races all over the state. Years later during weekends and summers, he taught children and adults, including the handicapped, how to sail. Other hobbies include, golf, running, and spending time with his wife and daughter.