[updated on 7/30/2014 with a different opinion.]
Inflation is the “general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing power of money” (1). The basic reward of investing, as opposed to hoarding cash in a safe, is to earn returns that exceed the rate of inflation.
“The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor” (2).
1. Google search engine, 3/2/2013
2. William Bernstein, Rational Expectations: Asset Allocation for Investing Adults. 2014.