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While many people aren't worried about inflation right now, they are worried about it down the road. Along with purchasing hard assets like gold, investors can buy TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) that provide returns slightly above the rate of inflation. An ETF that tracks the TIPS market is TIP, offered by iShares.

Below is a chart of TIP since the start of 2008. As shown, the ETF declined for most of 2008. However, since it bottomed last November, it is up 12.15%, which is considerably better than the 1.2% decline in the S&P 500.

click to enlarge

Source: Treasury Inflation Protected Securities ETF