By Whitney Sielaff
Whitney 1

OK. It's a bit before 7:00 a.m. on a cold late-November morning in New York City. Winter's here too darn early this year. I live on top of a small mountain in extreme western New Jersey, and we've already had a freak snowstorm.

It was incredibly contained, just my town and two others to the east and north. But it dumped a foot of wet snow on trees that still had leaves. The result was a disaster. 
It's a rural area with heavy forest. Falling trees knocked out electricity for three days. A large beech in the woods adjacent to our yard split like a toothpick, destroying some of my home-customized picket fencing and taking out two ornamental trees and additional landscaping.
We're looking at more snow this week, with some days barely getting above freezing. And it's only November. 
What's worse, I'm checking the market's results for yesterday. The Dow was down another 225 points. And futures are off 150 leading into this morning. 
I'm sure everyone out there has heard the wise approach to investing of not reacting to market swings. But this cycle really stinks. They used to talk about swings of 10 percent to 20 percent. But the Dow is off over several months from 14,000 to 8,000. That's huge. 
In a world where we all make choices between instant and delayed gratification, many people have got to be questioning all the scrimping and saving. I have to wonder just how many people want to say screw it at this point and spend some money on something to make themselves feel good. 
Cold, poor and despondent is no way to go through life. I've got to believe there are many who are thinking about that warm glow that comes from buying jewelry. It may seem counterintuitive, but there could be some upside to the current misery.

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