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Book Reviews: Know When to Quit, Know Thyself

I hope you are catching on to this drill. The Business Press Maven, the nation's No. 1 business journalism critic, got steamed under the collar because newspapers, in their dotage, started to cut back on book reviews. Stepping into the void, I now review business books, slapping a "Help" label on ones that will prove useful to investors and a "Hindrance" label on ones that will do the reverse.

Readers and authors are welcome to contact me. Same goes for you famously lethargic publishing house public relations folks, if you can wake up from that desk nap long enough to type me an email.

Topic A this week is the fine art of the quit, which is perhaps the most undeveloped in business and life. As someone who quit both college (for a time) and later Wall Street, I have been a lifelong practitioner. And I'm a better man for it. But from a larger perspective, becoming a master in the art of the quit is essential to good financial performance. In other words: Making a decision to buy something, or take a job, is not too tricky or complicated. It is easier than you think to find a decent stock, gig or parcel of real estate.

But knowing when to sell, when to take the loss -- in other words, when to quit -- is the heavy lifting. The ability to quit well is what separates successful investors and people from the rest.

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