Gold is, in fact, a poor hedge against inflation. Accounting for changes in the cost of living, gold has returned an average of minus 0.4% annually since 1980, versus positive annualized returns of 7.9% for U.S. stocks, 6.2% for U.S. bonds and 1.2% for cash, according to Prof. Spaenjers.1980, you say? I wonder how Prof. Spaenjers chose that starting point.
Of course you can make returns look bad if you cherry-pick the absolute worst starting point!
Anyone making an honest inquiry would find that not only does gold have pretty good returns, but also excellent diversification properties.