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The Value of Evidence-Based, Comprehensive Financial Planning Research

Steven Lee, Ph.D.
Researcher & Trusted Advisor

Currently, I am a lecturer in the Department of Finance, Real Estate and Law at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  I maintain a small financial consulting practice and am an arbitrator with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Previously, I was the Sievert-Sternberg Doctoral Research Fellow at The American College of Financial Services where I earned my Ph.D. in Financial and Retirement Planning. 

In 2019, my paper, "Victim Characteristics of Investment Fraud" won the best paper award in risk management and insurance at the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards' Academic Research Colloquium.


My journey began in 2011 when my wife and I were pregnant with our first child.  I was ABD in a dead-end distance education doctoral program in Philosophy.  With no career opportunities in sight, I embarked upon a long expedition in financial services where I operated as a broker for one year.  Unimpressed with my progress, I began an MBA program in financial planning, moving in the direction of a comprehensive financial planner.  Today, I write holistic financial plans and conduct cutting-edge research in financial advisor misconduct, specifically fraud and financial elder abuse.

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  • Engage in leading research within the areas of financial misconduct and fraud;

  • Share my research with stakeholders who hold a vested interest in curbing incidence of fraud and other misconduct within the financial services industry;

  • Utilize research findings to inform my practice in service to my clients.


I work with clients, providing comprehensive financial advice that is custom-tailored to their needs and goals.  I also research characteristics of fraud in financial services.

Analysing the Numbers

Holistic Financial Planning

Whether it is as simple as writing a basic financial plan or as complex as interviewing other professionals on behalf of the client or analyzing the health of a client's employer pension, I offer my practical experience, educational acumen, and research expertise to negotiate any financial planning challenge.


Data Collection & Analysis

I actively engage in financial services misconduct research on a number of levels.  This includes analyzing existing data sets, creating subsets of data from existing stores, and collecting my own data (both quantitative and qualitative).  My robust research agenda speaks to my relevance within the academy and informs my practice.

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