For me, the numbers nerd here at Fox, it's a lot easier taking stock of the markets than it is taking stock of something else: life.
Markets you can measure.
Life? Not so much.
Stocks, crazy as they are, follow a certain flow.
Life, a far less reliable one.
Stocks tend to do well over time.
The difference with life is you'll do well too, depending on how much time.
If you're lucky enough to be given time.
If you're fortunate enough to have time.
And have a life.
And have a family.
And have a career.
And have all the things we take for granted in life.
And prepare for in life. And look forward to in life.
Until we realize there are no guarantees in life including, yes, life itself.
Yet another mass shooting brought it all home this past week.
To 17 homes, to be exact.
Homes very different than they were a week ago at this time, when those who lived in them were no doubt just planning a weekend.
Now, many planning a funeral.
I suspect parents in those homes, particularly parents of mere teenagers, now missing from those homes, aren't much interested in what stocks are doing.
Or what sectors are rebounding.
Or how maybe some of their investments are improving.
After all, who can think of college savings if the child for whom you were saving is gone?
And the future for which you were meticulously planning is shattered?
It is not supposed to be this way.
I mean, parents know shootings happen.
They happen a lot.
But if any of them are like me, they don't think it will ever happen to them.
Not my child. Not my town.
Maybe like me, they look at the charts, and they look at the odds.
And they comfort themselves in percentages that show stocks come back.
Until they realize, until I realize life doesn't work the same neat way.
I guess I'm not saying anything profound here, so I'm sorry, except the latest jolting reminder the best laid plans in life can be upended at any moment in life.
Such is life.
Such is death.
No one is immune.
But I guess, speaking as a dad, I so wish our kids were immune.
But they're not.
Speaking as a dad, it just seems crueler when it's our kids.
Speaking as a dad, when it's their future wiped out.
Speaking as a dad, when the very natural order of things is wiped out.
Speaking as a dad, it shouldn't be the parent burying the child. It should be the child burying the parent.
Speaking as a dad, it must stop and the political fighting over guns and violence and who's to blame for either or both must stop too.
But it doesn't. Because we are more locked in our stubbornness than looking out for our kids.
No matter how much stuff like this happens, it's not surprising many of us hope and pray it won't happen to us.
Until it does.
To someone we know.
To horrified parents we don't know.
We see their pain and cannot fathom the enormity of the loss of their kids.
And the loss this week of a teacher and coach who saved so many other kids.
Random twists of fate showing the random and fleeting nature of life.
How fickle it is. How cruel it is.
How, no matter how you financially plan for it, how confounding and humbling it is.
Then, if you're like me, you see a market that managed to come back.
And wonder why all this tragedy can't be taken back.
But it can't.
Those 17 innocent lives can't.
That's when it hits you.
The difference between something that has a price and something that's just priceless.
Between some numbers may be coming back on paper, but an empty chair at a dinner table for someone never coming back at all.