March 6, 2012
I tell a lot of people about websites like Snopes.com. For those who don't know, Snopes and sites like it provide a resource for checking out the veracity of those pesky emails about things like bacterial onions, NPR's annual imminent defunding, or the laptop you can win by forwarding an email to 8 friends (all UNTRUE, by the way). Rumors are easy - easy to believe, easy to pass on, easy to be scared by. The worst ones inspire us to quick, limited-thinking action. When that action is forwarding an email there's little harm done (aside from a few pestered friends), but when that action is changing an investment, it can be a dangerous thing.
The first rumors that spread through Rochester over Kodak's (at the time) imminent bankruptcy had to do with SIP, Kodak's 401(k) plan. Some financial firms spread word that SIP assets might be frozen, or that a wave of redemptions would depress SIP values. Those notions were completely implausible and turned to be equally untrue. But perhaps their thinking went like this: "Let's scare them out of SIP and into a roll-over IRA with our firm." I don't know if that worked or not, but I do know it's not how we do business. We think that your relationship to your advisor should be based on trust, that you should be presented with choices, and that advice should be tailored to your individual circumstances. I also know that folks who work at Kodak are both smart and skeptical - two good qualities when considering the professionals you hire in your life (attorneys, financial advisors, accountants).
Rumors swirled about Kodak and we did our best to put those rumors to rest on our blog and in our community meetings. Rumors about Kodak are sure to continue to spread. There's more information available since Kodak has filed and court documents are accessible, but we're sure the rumors are not done. So, use us as a local 'Snopes' for Kodak news. Heard a rumor? Call, email, tweet or stop by and see us to find out if it's true.