Charles M. C. Lee

Charles M. C. Lee
Professor, Accounting
Contact Info
CharlesM. C.Lee
The Moghadam Family Professor and Professor of Accounting
Academic Area: 

Research Statement

Broadly speaking, I am interested in the effect of human cognitive constraints on market participants and other factors that impact the way information is incorporated into prices. My publications have been in the areas of behavioral finance, financial statement analysis, equity valuation, quantitative investing, market microstructure, and security market regulation.

Research Interests

  • Financial statement analysis
  • Behavioral finance
  • Quantitative investment strategies
  • Equity valuation
  • Security market regulation
  • Market microstructure

Teaching Statement

Lee's teaching interests are closely aligned with his research interests and investment experience. He has taught both PhD and Masters students at the GSB. Alphanomics, his Masters-level Elective, is focused on active investing in public equity markets. It is a hands-on course that makes extensive use of analytical tools provided by the school's Real-time Analysis and Investment Lab (R.A.I.L.). Lee's teaching honors include nine annual School-Wide Teaching Excellence Awards for MBA, MSx, and PhD Education (at Michigan, Cornell, and Stanford). He has also delivered eight of the "Effective Teaching" lectures at the annual AAA New Faculty Consortium.


Charles M. C. Lee is the Moghadam Family Professor of Management at the Graduate School of Business (GSB), Stanford University. He is also a Senior Academic Fellow of the Asian Bureau of Financial and Economic Research (ABFER), and Co-Founder of Nipun Capital, a San Francisco based asset management firm focused on Asian equities.

From 2004 to July 2008, Dr. Lee was Managing Director at Barclays Global Investors (BGI; now Blackrock).  As the firm’s Global Head of Equity Research and Co-Head of North America Active Equities, he led BGI’s world-wide active equity research team and was jointly responsible for its North American active equity business.  During his tenure, the firm had over $300 Billion USD in active equity strategies.  He joined Stanford GSB as a Visiting Professor in July 2008 while continuing to serve as a Senior Consultant to BGI, and became a full-time faculty member in July 2009. 

Professor Lee is former Editor or Associate Editor of numerous academic journals in Accounting and Finance, including: the Accounting Review, Journal of Finance, Management Science, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Review of Accounting Studies, and the Financial Analysts Journal.

Professor Lee received his BMath from the University of Waterloo (1981), and his MBA (1989) and PhD (1990) from Cornell University.  He has been a faculty member at the Michigan Business School (1990-95) and the Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University (1996-2004).  From 1995-96 he was Visiting Economist at the New York Stock Exchange.  At Cornell he held the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professorship in Management and was Director of the Parker Center for Investment Research. 

Prior to entering academic life, he spent five years in public accounting, the last three in the National Research Department of KPMG, Toronto, Canada. He holds a Certificate in Biblical Studies from Ontario Theological Seminary, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Accounting, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, 1990
  • MBA, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, 1989
  • Certificate in Biblical Studies, Ontario Theological Seminary, 1986
  • Chartered Accountant, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Canada, 1982
  • B of Mathematics, University of Waterloo, Canada, 1981

Academic Appointments

  • Moghadam Family Professor of Management, Stanford GSB, 2015- present
  • Joseph McDonald Professor of Accounting, Stanford GSB, 2009-2015
  • Visiting Professor of Accounting, Stanford GSB, 2008-2009
  • Co-chair of Accounting Department, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, 2003-2012
  • Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management, Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, 1998-2007
  • Director of the Parker Center for Investment Research, Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, 1997-2004
  • Associate Professor of Accounting, Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, 1996-1997
  • Associate Professor of Accounting, University of Michigan, 1994-1996
  • Assistant Professor of Accounting, University of Michigan, 1990-1994

Professional Experience

  • Global Head of Equity Research, Barclays Global Investors (now Blackrock), 2006-2008
  • Co-Head of North America Active Equity Strategies, Barclays Global Investors (now Blackrock), 2006-2007
  • Head of U.S. Equity Research, Barclays Global Investors (now Blackrock), 2005-2006
  • Director of Accounting Research, Barclays Global Investors (now Blackrock), 2004-2004
  • Visiting Research Economist, New York Stock Exchange, 1995-1996
  • Senior Manager (last position held), National Research Department of KPMG Peat Marwick Thorne, Toronto, Canada, 1982-1985

Awards and Honors

  • 2015 American Accounting Association Annual Meeting Presidential Scholar
  • 2015 AQR Research Insight Award, Finalist
  • 2014 Faculty of Mathematics Alumni Achievement Medal, University of Waterloo
  • 2014 Stanford University Asian American Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievements and Service to the University
  • 2014 China Accounting and Finance Review, Best Paper Award
  • Distinguished Service Award, PhD Program, Stanford GSB, 2013
  • Graduate School of Business Trust Faculty Fellow, Stanford GSB, 2012-2013
  • Teaching Excellent Award, MSx (formerly Sloan) Program, Stanford GSB, 2012
  • Teaching Excellent Award, MSx (formerly Sloan) Program, Stanford GSB, 2011
  • Robert and Marilyn Jaedicke Faculty Fellow, Stanford GSB, 2010-2011
  • Distinguished Visiting Faculty, AAA Doctoral Consortium, 1999, 2003, 2012
  • Tang Peng Yeu Distinguished Visiting Professor, National University of Singapore, 2010
  • Price Waterhouse Coopers Global Competency Center Research Grant, 2004
  • Moskowitz Prize for Best Quantitative Study of Socially Responsible Investing, 2003
  • AAA Notable Contribution to Accounting Literature Award, 2003
  • MBA Apple Award for Teaching Excellence, Cornell Johnson School, 1997, 2000, 2003
  • Stephen Russell Distinguished Teaching Award, Cornell Johnson School, 2002
  • Faculty Award for Research Excellence, Cornell Johnson School, 2001


Journal Articles

Charles M. C. Lee, Eric C. So. Journal of Financial Economics. May 2017, Vol. 124, Issue 2, Pages 331-348.
Charles M. C. Lee, Doron Israeli, Suhas Sridharan. Review of Accounting Studies. 2017.
Daniel M. Beneish, Craig Nichols, Charles M. C. Lee. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 2015, Vol. 60, Issue 2-3, Pages 1547-1589.
Charles M. C. Lee, Paul Ma, Charles Wang. Journal of Financial Economics. 2015, Vol. 116, Issue 2, Pages 410-431.
Charles M. C. Lee, Kevin K. Li, Ran Zhang. The Accounting Review. 2015, Vol. 90, Issue 4, Pages 1547-1589.
Salman Arif, Charles M. C. Lee. Review of Financial Studies. August 14, 2014, Vol. 27, Issue 11, Pages 3241-3279.
Charles M. C. Lee. Accounting and Business Research. May 21, 2014, Vol. 44, Issue 4, Pages 383-406.
Charles M. C. Lee. China Finance and Accounting Review. 2014, Vol. 16, Issue 2, Pages 10-38.
Daniel M. Beneish, Charles M. C. Lee, Craig D. Nichols. Financial Analysts Journal. 2013, Vol. 69, Issue 2, Pages 57-82.
Guohua Jiang, Charles M. C. Lee, Heng Yue. Journal of Financial Economics. 2010, Vol. 98, Pages 1-20.
Charles M. C. Lee, David Ng. Journal of Investing. 2009, Vol. Winter 18, Issue 4, Pages 23-41.


Charles M. C. Lee, Eric C. So Now Publishers, January 2016.

Working Papers

Evaluating Firm-Level Expected-Return Proxies | PDF
Charles M. C. Lee, Eric C. So, Charles C. Y. Wang, June 32017
Mutual Funds and Short-Sellers: Why does short-sale volume predict stock returns? | PDF
Salman Arif, Azi Ben-Rephael, Charles M. C. Lee, February 242017
Sexy or safe: why do predicted stock issuers (PSIs) earn low returns? | PDF
Charles M. C. Lee, Ken Li, February 142017
Uncovering expected returns: Information in analyst coverage proxies | PDF
Charles M. C. Lee, Eric C. So, January 2016
Is There a Dark Side to Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)? An Information Perspective | PDF
Doron Israeli, Charles M. C. Lee, Suhas A. Sridharan, July 262015


Degree Courses


This is an advanced elective course on the economics of active investing in public equity markets. We will cover a set of foundational skills needed to select, and manage, a portfolio of public stocks. nSpecifically, the course material is...


This is an advanced elective course on the economics of active investing in public equity markets. We will cover a set of foundational skills needed to select, and manage, a portfolio of public stocks. nnSpecifically, the course material is...

Service to the Profession

  • The Accounting Review, Co-Editor, 2011-2014
  • Management Science, Associate Editor in Finance, 2009-2011
  • Journal of Accounting and Economics, Associate Editor, 2000-2006
  • Journal of Accounting Research, Editorial Board, 2001-2003
  • Journal of Finance, Associate Editor, 2000-2003
  • Review of Accounting Studies, Co-Editor, 1996-2006
  • Financial Analysts Journal, Associate Editor, 1999-2008
  • Journal of Financial Markets, Associate Editor, 1996-2008
  • AAA Doctoral Consortium: Distinguished Visiting Faculty, 1999, 2003, 2012
  • AAA New Faculty Consortium: Lecturer on Teaching Effectiveness, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009; Team Leader, 1995, 1996; Planning Committee, 1998-1999
  • AAA Innovation in Accounting Education Award Committee, 2003-2004
  • AAA Research Advisory Committee, 1998-2002
  • AAA Annual Meeting Program Selection Committee, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999
  • AAA Financial Accounting and Reporting Concepts Committee, 1996-1997
  • AAA Financial Accounting Standards Committee, 1995-1996
  • AAA Notable Contribution Award Screening Committee, 1994-1995

Insights by Stanford Business

June 26, 2017
Analyst coverage is a good prediction of how well a company will perform.
June 7, 2016
Mutual funds regularly underperform in the markets. Here’s why.
September 29, 2015
Four guidelines for surviving and thriving in the current volatility.
August 24, 2015
These investments, now more popular than hedge funds, come with a down side.
July 2, 2014
An accounting professor says shareholders need accountants to keep track of asset history, not to forecast future prices.
November 14, 2013
New research suggests these companies performed better than their reputation suggested.
November 1, 2010
Research shows that firms in countries perceived as less corrupt trade at bigger market premiums than those in places deemed more corrupt.

School News

May 11, 2017
In three separate ceremonies this spring, students in the MBA, MSx, and PhD programs lauded Professors Charles Lee, Mary Barth, and Adina Sterling, respectively.
June 4, 2013
Stanford GSB students honor three professors for their extraordinary teaching skill.
June 4, 2012
Stanford GSB students recognize Dirk Jenter, Charles Lee, and Jeremy Bulow for their passionate teaching of challenging subjects.