I, too, find it hard to relate the CPI to my personal inflation rate. I expect it may average out to be the same eventually, though. Also I don't expect my portfolio to completely compensate for inflation during highly inflationary periods. But in recent years when there has been little inflation, it surpasses that inflation so hopefully in the long run it will outdo inflation by a decent amount.
I expect that in the long term my equity investments will help in combatting inflation. I am confident that this is a better inflation-fighting strategy than stashing my money under the mattress.
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus