USFSM Regional Chancellor Dr. Karen Holbrook and Cumberland Advisors' Chief Investment Officer David Kotok address audience members at Thursday's Financial Literacy Day at the Selby Auditorium.

USFSM, Cumberland Advisors host Financial Literacy Day

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: April 05, 2018

SARASOTA, Fla. (April 05, 2018)USF Sarasota-Manatee, Cumberland Advisors and the Global Interdependence Center partnered to host a Financial Literacy Day Thursday with several panels of noted financial experts including Raphael Bostic, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The all-day event was held at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

“This is really is a great day for us,” USFSM Chancellor Dr. Karen Holbrook said in welcoming the experts and audience members to the campus’ Selby Auditorium. “You all honor us greatly by being here.”

David Kotok, chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors and the program’s moderator, said the event was a way for the investment firm and the Global Interdependence Center, a nonprofit that promotes dialogue and free trade, to give back to the community. Kotok and Cumberland were the chief organizers of the event.

“As you know one of the things we do in our firm is to try to promote financial literacy,” Kotok said. “Our view is that the more our citizens, clients, professionals and others know about financial markets the better off they are and the better off our society is.”

Kotok has written articles for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and contributes regularly to Bloomberg TV, Fox Business and other media. The first Financial Literacy Day debuted last spring at USFSM.

Topics at the event were designed to appeal to a cross-section of the community, from students and average investors to seasoned portfolio managers, bankers and economists.

They included:

  • Municipal financial market developments
  • The use of quantitative measurement/technical analysis in the stock market
  • The outlook for the U.S. stock market and the world
  • The U.S. banking system
  • The global economic outlook

Dr. James Curran, dean of the College of Business at USFSM, gave an update about the David Kotok and Cumberland Advisors Bloomberg Lab on the campus’ second floor. The lab, a gift of Kotok and Cumberland last year, is equipped with Bloomberg terminals, which are used by professionals to track financial markets, trends and news worldwide. USFSM professors use the lab to teach students about finance and economics.

As an added bonus Bloomberg offers an eight-hour instructional program about the system and provides students with certificates after completing the course. Bloomberg systems are not usually found in colleges despite their popularity among traders and portfolio managers.

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Dr. James Curran

“I’ve been told by professionals that if students can show they completed the course, it can make a difference in being able to stand out from the crowd” when they apply for a job, Dean Curran said.

“At this point, given the year we’ve had the lab available, we’ve had about 100 students who’ve been able to complete the program and get their certificates, and that includes some New College students,” he said.

Bostic, the Atlanta Fed chief, delivered the keynote address in the afternoon after talking with Bloomberg TV’s Michael McKee for an interview that aired nationally.In his address, he talked about the importance of financial literacy as a gateway to opportunity then answered questions about the issue and others, including inflation, trade and protectionism.

USFSM, Cumberland Advisors partner for Financial Literacy Day

Raphael Bostic

“The cost of the lack of financial literacy to individuals and to society is substantial,” he said. “People who do not have financial literacy are at a disadvantage of being fully employable and a disadvantage of maximizing their employment potential. In so many ways financial literacy is critical.”

He said the Fed is engaged in addressing financial literacy with tutorials and lectures and noted that even children can benefit, with studies showing that exposure to basic financial principals can have an impact through adulthood.

Among the program’s other speakers were: Jeff Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial; Natalie Cohen, managing director of municipal securities research at Wells Fargo Securities; William J. Hogan, senior managing director, Assured Guaranty; Alison Gardner, senior vice president of wealth management at RBC Wealth Management; Michael Drury, chief economist at McVean Trading & Investments; Chris Whalen, chairman of Whalen Global Advisors LLC; and Michael McKee, economics and policy correspondent for Bloomberg TV and Radio.

“One of the things we value at USF Sarasota-Manatee is being a resource for our community,” Dr. Holbrook said. “Hosting events with world-class experts on contemporary topics is a major part of our commitment of being a strategic resource.”

USFSM thanks its partners at Manatee Educational TV for providing video coverage of the event. You can find complete coverage below:

For more information about Financial Literacy Day and the speakers, visit

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