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Sarah Baker

Director, Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blayney

Wealth is subjective, observes Sarah Baker. “Working with extremely wealthy clients all the time can make advisers feel poor,” Baker said, even when they’re not. Conversely, working with poor people lets advisers recognize how “rich they really are.” Her bottom line: “If you can be generous, you have more joy and your life is enriched.”

Baker, 38, strives to live her credo. A native of West Virginia and a graduate of its state university, Baker’s first job was at Vanguard’s customer service center in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she earned her CFP. Wanting to work with clients more directly, she joined an RIA there and spent 11 years involved in stewardship at her church.

Moving to Northern Virginia after her employer was sold, Baker joined Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blayney in 2017. Along with her new firm, she became involved with Britepaths, a local nonprofit that empowers lower-income residents to work toward long-term self-sufficiency. She volunteers as a financial literacy coach there and also teaches financial basics to foreign refugees being helped by Catholic Charities.

She encourages her colleagues to volunteer, and her clients to give. “That way the money you have feels like a blessing rather than a burden,” Baker said.

Evan Cooper