With Obama's trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, inflation and/or confiscatory taxation are not only likely, but inevitable.
TIPs, stocks, commodity funds, and gold will help hedge against inflation. But I'm also concerned about the second risk: confiscatory taxation. A wealth tax on financial assets is possible at some point in the future. Primary residences and retirement accounts would likely be exempt, as they are populist, but bank and brokerage accounts would likely be fair game.
Even if a "wealth tax" doesn't become law, financial assets are likely to be a hindrance for access to any of the ever-expanding menu of government programs on which the populace is becoming increasingly dependent. Financial assets are already used to exclude families from student aid, and means-testing of Social Security is a layup.
The best option for those who share these concerns would be to get a good chunk of your assets "off the grid." Your home and retirement accounts are politically protected and more or less safe, but after you've maxed those out I'd suggest getting to know your friendly neighborhood gold dealer on a first-name basis. Gold bullion coins can be had at about a 6% - 7% premium to spot prices, and that premium is likely to look trivial in the rear-view mirror.
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