NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With gold's big decline over the last two years, many may be searching for answers about what's to come. And suggestions abound -- some hinging on the notion gold can protect your portfolio from inflation.In an environment where many fear quantitative easing (QE) will drive inflation higher, it's not surprising to hear gold bugs offer similar advice: Don't sell -- hang on and profit when QE-driven inflation increases gold's value. In our opinion, however, there are severe problems with this thesis. Here are two key ones: Quantitative easing isn't inflationary, it's dis- or deflationary, and gold isn't a reliable hedge against inflation. For starters, QE has existed for nearly five years, and inflation's been nothing more than sluggish. The Federal Reserve may be buying bonds and adding to banks' excess reserves, but that money isn't going anywhere, as you can see in Exhibit 1.