“The oil boom in western North Dakota has sparked one of the largest migrations to a single area in the United States since the Great Depression...
“Communities that once struggled to keep people at all are now struggling to absorb all the newcomers as workers from across the country arrive to seek their fortunes in oil.”
Those aren't the words of an oil state politician, nor are they the words of a pro-oil organization's PR specialist...
That's how NPR introduced a story about the Williston Basin during morning rush hour this week — the second full week of May 2012.
“That's funny,” I thought to myself.
"We've been writing about that area for years, and nearly everything we've said has been spot-on."
Why are they struggling if we saw it coming?
I've come to realize there are two realities.
One is that of a newsletter writer (and those who read them), who digests tens of thousands of words each day in the form of essays, editorials, news stories, reports, and white papers.
The other reality is everyone else's.
What I mean by that is we see, discuss, and evaluate ideas long before they enter the mainstream.
The news I see on CNN on Wednesday is usually something I read on an obscure website the week before.
Take that Georgia woman with the flesh-eating bacteria you undoubtedly heard about this week (May 13th-19th)...
We were discussing it in the office last Tuesday, May 8th, when the story started breaking on local Georgia affiliates.
Not knowing about some inconsequential human interest story for a few days may not mean that much to you, and it probably won't affect your bottom line.
But that's not true of the biggest domestic energy boom of the last half-century.
Not knowing about that in time means the difference between a financial windfall and just making small talk about it. And I hate small talk.
That's why we're here — to bring you worthwhile information before anyone else.
Which Do You Want?
I was curious, so when I got into the office I started searching Energy and Capital to find our first mention of "Williston."
Not surprisingly, it was from Keith Kohl — all the way back in March 2008.
Here's what he said about the area:
Oil companies are going to develop the Bakken formation in the Williston Basin. And according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the entire Bakken play could hold a potential 400 billion barrels of oil.
The best part is that this area is just starting to heat up.
“Just starting to heat up.” In 2008.
When did the rest of the world — that other reality — start learning about the Williston Basin?
It's easy to see, because I have a chart of the volume of Google searches for “Williston” since 2004.
It's plain to see that “everyone else” didn't learn about the area until late 2011, when acquisitions were already happening and related stocks were flying.
By then, Keith — and anyone who was following his advice — had closed dozens of oil winners because of the Bakken, including some well over 550%.
Now, would you rather have read about the Bakken from Keith in 2008...
Or heard about it from a well-manicured talking head who hadn't heard of XTO Energy before the name came across her teleprompter the day Exxon bought its Bakken resources for almost $2 billion last May?
If you have a pulse, you'd choose Keith.
His new Bakken report is out now.
I'd check it out now — before you hear about the stocks it recommends buying four years later on the radio.
Call it like you see it,
Nick is the Founder and President of the Outsider Club, and the Investment Director of the thousands-strong stock advisory, Early Advantage. Co-author of two best-selling investment books, including Energy Investing for Dummies, his insights have been shared on news programs and in magazines and newspapers around the world. For more on Nick, take a look at his editor's page.