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Ruth Lytton

Professor of Financial Planning
Ruth Lytton
2114 Pamplin
880 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Research: Financial Planning, Risk Tolerance

Dr. Lytton teaches financial planning courses and mentors students to insure successful induction into financial planning careers. As part of her responsibilities as Director of the CFP Board-Registered Financial Planning Program, she teaches students and professionals about best practices for recruitment and retention. She coaches students and alumni on succesful career entry strategies, relocation, and advancement. She also works with planning firms on hiring and placement (i.e., responsibilities, position descriptions, compensation, recruitment, career paths, etc.), ranging from limited communication to on- site visits.

Dr. Lytton serves on regional and national advisory committees within the profession and with the CFP Board, including the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning Women’s Initiative (WIN) Council to increase the number of women pursuing financial planning careers. She is an academic member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, and the Society of Financial Service Professionals. Dr. Lytton received the John H. Cecil Lifetime Service Award from the Central Virginia Chapter of the FPA and the prestigious national FPA Heart of Financial Planning Award for her efforts to advance the profession.

Dr. Lytton’s most notable research is the Grable and Lytton (1999) risk tolerance quiz from what is now recognized as a seminal article. The quiz is used globally by financial planners with clients and by researchers in the study of risk. It has been included in both textbooks and popular-press books for self- assessment of risk tolerance attitudes and the effect on personal investment decisions.  From September 2002, it was featured on a Rutgers webpage, where more than 200,000 people responded. In January 2018, the quiz moved to the University of Missouri website where it will remain available for public access.

Dr. Lytton served as editor of the Journal of Personal Finance. Additionally, she has served as a consultant, reviewer, “ghost” author and author on a variety of books and ancillary materials on personal finance. She is co-author on two financial planning texts: The Case Approach to Financial Planning: Bridging the Gap from Theory to Practice and The Process of Financial Planning.

Education & Certification

Ph.D., 1986, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

M.S., 1979, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

B.S., 1977, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Professional Achievements

Dr. Lytton has received student association, college, university, and national professional association awards for her contributions as a teacher, researcher, and advisor, including the Certificate of Teaching Excellence, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, and the Award for Excellence in Career Advising.