Inflation has different effects on different types of assets. As a result, it is important both to diversify assets in terms of their response to inflation and to form expectations of inflation in order to overweight the assets that will respond best to future conditions.
Cash – inflation causes rising interest rates, and therefore cash tends to earn a higher return when inflation is higher.
Bonds – inflation erodes the fixed payments and terminal values of bonds. Therefore, bonds perform worse when inflation is higher.
Stocks – inflation can increase asset values but erode real cash flows. Rising interest rates can reduce the present value of future cash flows. Stocks tend to do best when inflation is low and predictable, and to fall in either high inflation or deflation.
Real estate – higher cash flows and asset values tend to result in a positive relationship between real estate and inflation.