SARASOTA-  Being financially literate takes more than knowing how to balance your checkbook, and USF Sarasota- Manatee’s Financial Literacy Day encouraged everyone to stay informed.

“To everyone who wants to understand what’s going on in the financial world,” Gretchen Morgenson, Senior Special Writer with the Wall Street said, “understand how their retirements are being affected, understand how their pay check is being affected, business reporting is crucial for that, and we need to have a strong, unfettered press.”

Morgenson says you can’t only seek out information when the economic conditions are weakening.

“Warren Buffet has a favorite line,” Morgenson said. “That is "you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out, so when the tide is in, as in where in a very, very good market now, you don’t know who’s swimming naked.’”

Friendship Centers CEO Erin McLeod says with fewer employers offering pensions, it’s important to take control of your finances as you age.

“If we could get people to understand the power of investing,” Erin McLeod said. “The power of taking just a small percentage and investing it in your own future, we would see much less of the strife, struggle, panic that people come to us, just living on that financial cliff.”

And non-profits themselves need to say informed, Cumberland Advisors Portfolio Manager Gabriel Hament says endowments are being hurt by high fees.

“We’re talking about one and a half to two percentage points a year on a billion dollars just going to financial service providers,” Gabriel Hament said. “Before we even start talking about generating returns, to support and expand the mission of non-profits, locally and here across the country.”

Hament says those returns are crucial to helping families get out of poverty.

“It’s important that we generate every dollar we can from these non-profit endowment pools, to help these families get out of that situation,” Hament said. “Become productive citizens, and not have to rely on governmental assistance.”