Family Wealth blog

In The Long Run

An athletic hiker with a backpack runs along a rock ridge in the mountains. The title "In The Long Run... is at the top right.

Maybe it’s no big surprise that it was a visionary economist who made the insightful statement: “In the long run we are all dead.” That was John Maynard Keynes, by the way, whose thinking and theories have provided much of the foundation of modern macroeconomics.

As with many classic quotes, this one had more to it. The entire quote read like this: “In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if, in tempestuous seasons, they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat again." Well, Keynes might have sounded a bit rough on what he considered to be lazy or sloppy economists, but the long-term view was, again, right on point. In fact, it sounds like it was already considered a given then, that short-term turmoil in economies and markets was always going to be just that: short term.

Keynes and Wealth Management

Keynes was probably not trying to get too philosophical. He was simply taking the long view that, on history’s timeline, our lifespans are essentially blips. But we all know that our lives, while we’re living them, are far more meaningful than just being a blip.

In fact, as family wealth managers, one of the best aspects of our jobs is helping families manage their wealth in a way that we believe gives them a better chance of enjoying it. We also see the long term, especially when it comes to money management, as including future generations. So it doesn’t stop at, well, just one blip.

The Long Run (the song)

Not to compare the thinking of a world-famous economist with that of a 70s rock band, but one of The Eagles’ most popular songs is “The Long Run.” Its opening lines are: “I used to hurry a lot, I used to worry a lot.” As family wealth advisors, we hope our clients hear these lines and think, “That used to be me.” As an investor, that is. Our clients sign on with us, in part, because they agree with our long-term investing approach. It may not be as a long a term as Keynes was referring to, but long enough to let strong companies weather storms and continue to grow and prosper. And long enough that investors don’t panic and sell during sell-offs and regret it later, when “the ocean is flat again.”

And, not to short-change The Eagles and their success, their “The Long Run” album did win them a Grammy award [1] and has sold millions of copies. So, it has quite a good blip so far.

[1] Source:

Disclosure: This communication is for informational purposes only and should not necessarily be regarded as legal, tax, or customized financial advice or comment or as an official statement of the firm, or any agents thereof. The material being provided is thought to be accurate. However, the information is compiled from multiple resources and may become outdated or otherwise rendered incorrect by new research or corrections, without notice J.L. Bainbridge & Co., Inc. is not a broker dealer and does not offer tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor for assistance regarding your individual situation. It should neither be assumed that future results will be as profitable or that a loss could not be incurred. For more information related to our firm, please see our disclosure brochures at and

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