Other fixed-income. The weak correlation between TIPS and the Consumer Price Index led to the creation of an inflation-hedging ETF, the IZ CPI Inflation Hedged ETF (CPI). Launched in 2009, the fund's goal is to provide a real return above the rate of inflation by investing in short-term Treasury bonds and Treasury bills, as well as investments that track the price of commodities such as gold or oil.

Short maturity fixed-income ETFs, while not specifically designed for inflation, would nonetheless hold up better than longer-term funds in a rising rate environment. Popular choices include the iShares Barclays 1-3 year Treasury Bond (SHY), iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Credit Bond (CSJ), and Vanguard Short-Term Bond (BSV). Offerings at the shortest end of the yield curve include SPDR Barclays Capital 1-3 Month T-Bill (BIL) and PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity (MINT).

Commodities. While TIPS follow U.S. inflation and interest rate trends, they aren't directly impacted by economic growth and inflation in other parts of the world, as commodity prices are.

According to a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, commodity inflation "is likely to outperform broader inflation measures as a recovery geared toward raw materials takes place over the next couple of years." While tighter monetary policies in emerging markets could create a headwind, the firm believes robust consumer spending and government spending on infrastructure will provide support.

While sharp increases in precious metals prices focused most of the attention on gold and silver ETFs last year, profits were more modest in other corners of the commodity market. Most of the diversified offerings delivered respectable single-digit returns, while those focusing on gas suffered significant losses.

Monetary concerns have trumped inflation worries as the main driver of gold prices recently, and this year Standard & Poor's economists project that stagnant production and flight by investors from currency risk will help raise the price of the metal to $1,600 an ounce. The most popular choice by far for ETF investors seeking gold exposure is SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), which holds over $57 billion in assets. At $5.5 billion in assets, iShares Gold Trust (IAU) comes in second.

J. Michael Martin, the president of Financial Advantage in Columbia, Md., has 7% of his firm's core portfolio in SPDR Gold Shares. "Gold is a currency that can't be printed, and is accepted all over the world as a store of value and medium of exchange. As national debt piles up and confidence in paper money declines, gold goes up," he says. "It's a long-term play, not a trade."

Other commodities are also on advisors' radar screens. At Capital Cities Asset Management in Austin, Texas, Director of Wealth Management Brian Campos uses Market Vectors Agribusiness (MOO) to benefit from anticipated "agflation" in the price of soybeans, corn and other farm products. The ETF, he says, "is a good way to get exposure to a commodity sector that would be difficult to access otherwise."

Commodities tied to manufacturing, such as copper, lead, iron ore, coal and oil should benefit from dollar depreciation and indirect exposure to surging growth in emerging markets, according to LPL Financial Research. Exchange-traded notes that follow those commodities include iPath Dow Jones-UBS Industrial Metals (JJM) and iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper (JJC).

"Many advisors may choose a broad-based ETF for longer-term strategic allocations, and the commodity sector-specific offerings for tactical trading," says Lake. "Others may have a fixed commodity allocation of, say, 10%, and rotate between two commodity sectors they think will do well over the short term."