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Every time my phone starts ringing off the hook to make TV network appearances, I know it's a sign there's a Reality Gap big enough to make some real money.
A Reality Gap is the huge chasm between what the news media (plus Wall Street, Big Government, and Madison Avenue – or as I call them, the "Big Four") is serving you and the actual truth. The illusions they peddle aren't in your best interest; they distract you from what's best for your money.
Take China's coronavirus outbreak. Over the past two weeks, I've made seven television show appearances to talk about the coronavirus and how it's impacting markets and individual stocks.
It's pretty clear the news media is having a field day over this. Every minute, there's a new update on infections, possible mutations, comparisons to SARS… This human tragedy is being milked for all it's worth.
The reason why is simple: Fear sells. No TV news segment, news website, or cable news update is complete without a coronavirus update, because that's currently what gets views. And more views mean more money selling ads.
It's overtaken the top of the news agenda – the president's impeachment trial, Monday's Iowa caucus, even the record-breaking wildfires still raging in Australia.
Not to mention the things you can actually act on, like Amazon's extraordinary earnings surprise…
And the news media isn't the only culprit here, either. Big Government is getting in on the game, too, with health organizations underreacting, then overreacting, and issuing jarring headlines.
"CDC: Preparing as If Coronavirus Is 'the Next Pandemic.'" This led to a 250-point drop in the Dow on Jan. 24.
And lost amid all this noise is a Reality Gap between what's being said and what should really matter: the truth.
About the Author
Nationally recognized technical trader. Background in engineering, system designs, and risk reduction. 26 years in the markets.