SUSAN S. SPRAKER, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor, CEO, CIO
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 instead a means to increase life choices to pursue their true goals and dreams. Helping clients define and prioritize their wants and wishes, and explore and implement strategies to achieve them are the priorities and focus of Spraker West Wealth Management client relationships. This full circle advising and guidance is the heart of their “wealth management,” incorporating 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 was awarded 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. Thirteen years later, with a cohesive and dedicated team of professionals, the firm has more than quadrupled its assets under management while maintaining a relatively small number of clients-approximately 100 families-to ensure top tier client service. On July 1, 2021, after 12 years of service to the clients and the firm, Sr. Advisor John West became an equal shareholder and the firm name changed to Spraker West Wealth Management, Inc.
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 and Financial Planning Association. 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 oil abstracts and impressionist landscapes. Some of her many paintings are featured on the website and in two North Carolina galleries. 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, President, 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 of experience as a Financial Analyst and Portfolio Manager for a hedge fund before joining the firm, and 30 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 advises clients through personal and virtual office consultations as well as ongoing emails and telephone conversations.
As Chief Operating Officer, John coordinates and supervises the daily client work among the staff and assists Susan with Corporate Accounting and Strategic Planning. As Chief Compliance Officer, he 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. He was recently honored by the Orlando Business Journal as a “40 Under 40 Professional” to watch in Central Florida.
John believes in giving back to the community. He served on the Board of the local service organization, United Against Poverty Orlando. John also has enjoyed helping to build homes as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of Winter Park.
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. In 2012, he earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional designation. He is the Past-President of the Financial Planning Association of Central Florida and 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 regattas across 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.