The U.S. national debt is nearing $20 trillion and U.S. debt to gross domestic product is hovering around 105%. Consequently, conservatives in Congress may be loath to cut tax revenue and increase deficit spending.

Even if the government pushes through increased fiscal spending by increasing borrowing, the cost of servicing the debt will also increase in a rising rate environment.

“Extending the national debt and increasing the deficit could deteriorate the U.S. fiscal budget and health longer term, particularly if these stimulus plans lack a trickle  down economic impact,” Gold said. “If investors begin to anticipate fiscal policies delays, current market enthusiasm could wane, leading to a potential rise in volatility.”

Consequently, people may consider alternative assets to hedge against the potential risk of delays in policy changes. For example, investors can look to a number of physically backed precious metals-related ETFs as a way to diversify a traditional stock and portfolio, including ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL), ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR), ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSEArca: PPLT) and ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSEArca: PALL). ETF investors can also use the ETFS Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares (NYSEArca: GLTR) as a catch-all of all four precious metals.

For more information on the precious metals market, visit our precious metals category.