Covid-19 – A Case Study in the Power of Fear


I have a thought experiment for you.

Walter is a very successful, very wealthy, self-made millionaire. His track record, over many years has been incredible – every time he invests money, 99% of the time he succeeds in making himself and his investors more money.

Due to his 99% success rate, everyone wants to be part of Walter’s investment opportunities.

Walter is a close friend of yours over many, many years. You’ve done 100 deals with Walter over those years. Almost every time you have invested money with Walter, he’s succeeded in making you more money.

Only once, did you ever lose money, investing with Walter.

And, thanks to Walter, you’ve made millions over the many years doing deals with him, due to his 99% success rate.

Walter approaches you with another deal. He wants to know if you would be interested in investing in another deal.

You give it some thought, talk it over with your spouse, and agree to invest money in Walter’s new deal, fully aware that there is a 1% risk that you could lose money.

In your mind, the odds are greatly in your favor – Walter succeeds 99% of the time and only fails, 1% of the time.

Knowing what you know about Walter’s success rate, if Walter approached you and offered you an opportunity to invest with him, would you say yes?

Or, would you say no, because of the 1% risk that you could lose money?

Does that 1% make you afraid to invest your money with Walter?


As more data comes in, the math on Covid-19 is becoming clearer.

Covid-19 is highly contagious. About 20% who come into contact with the virus, become infected. This is significantly more than twice the 8% contagion rate of the average flu.

And the percentage of those who die, as a result of becoming infected with Covid-19, while continuing to drop, is still high at about 1%. About 1 out of every 100 individuals who is infected with Covid-19, will die.

Now, that 1% is likely to drop, as more data comes in, but it’s still going to be closer to 1% than .2%, which happens to be the death rate for individuals infected by the average flu virus.

So, you have a 1% chance of dying from Covid-19.

And yet, that 1% has caused the entire world to shut down, in fear of contracting Covid-19 and dying.

Damn right! You say. I’m afraid of that 1% chance of dying.

Do you drive a car?

Did you know that you have a .9% of dying in a car accident?

Why doesn’t the fear of dying in a car accident stop everyone from driving a car?

When you give into fear, you allow fear to control you.

Successful people do not allow fear to control their behavior, thinking and decision-making. They do not give fear even a second to take root in their mind.


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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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