Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities are better than gold? Not a chance. Last week , TheStreet.com published an article making the case for TIPS. It quoted Ken Volpert, a portfolio manager at Vanguard, as saying that TIPS beat gold when it comes to saving assets from the ravages of consumer price inflation. In other words, pick the bullion exchange-traded funds streetTracks Gold Shares ( GLD) and iShares Comex Gold Trust ( IAU) over iShares Lehman TIPS Bond ( TIP). TIPS indeed could be a strong contender in the battle for inflation-busting supremacy. But there's a problem: TIPS have barely been stress-tested, so only time will tell. "If you really are worried about inflation you don't want to try an untried asset class," says Don Coxe, global portfolio strategist at BMO Financial Group in Chicago. TIPS are government bonds which pay a variable coupon based on changes to the consumer price index, and were launched only 10 years ago. Although the interest rate is fixed, the principal is adjusted higher in line with changes to the consumer price index. Volpert makes a strong argument in favor of TIPS, saying that "as inflation increases over time, your real income -- which is paid to you -- is increasing by the rate of inflation." He further argues that "you get the principal back plus the actual inflation that eroded the real value of the money as well." They seemed to have worked well during the most recent period, but that has been relatively tranquil compared with 30 years ago when inflation last got really out of hand in the U.S. "TIPS were not around at a time when you had a wild bond market like the 1970s," Coxe says. During that period yields went to 17% from 7%, he explains. And because the value of a bond moves inversely with market yields, investors who were holding fixed-income securities during that period took it on the chin. To watch Simon Constable's video take of this column, click here .