Cliff Asness & co. have crunched the numbers, and they’re the equivalent of several million gallons of cold water to the face and coffee at the same time.

Last year, the whiz-kids at AQR Capital Management ran their new streams of big data and everything else through the As-Bot and got an unpleasant surprise: Nothing was gonna return even 5% over the next five to 10 years.

For masochism or science or whatever, they decided to do it again this year. And while stocks outside of the U.S. broke the 5% barrier, it wasn’t exactly something to celebrate, least of all for AQR.

The improvements over last year are mainly due to cheaper prices after 2018’s annus horribilis. AQR expects a traditional 60/40 portfolio of U.S. assets to earn just 2.9 percent after inflation over the medium term, compared with a long-term average of 5 percent.

“These estimates are mostly higher than they were a year ago, but compared to historical norms, they remain soberingly low,’’ the firm wrote in a research note.

If only there were an investing superhero around who could get us out of this mess…

AQR Quants Gaze Into Crystal Ball, See ‘Soberingly Low’ Returns [Bloomberg]

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