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Socrates looks to the future

Socrates Fund Management, a company set up by Christchurch financial planner Charles Drace in 1994, is looking to launch three unit trusts – with a difference.

Friday, July 21st 2006, 6:48AM

by Philip Macalister

One fund will be conservative in nature, another will focus on commodities and the third, more aggressive one will invest in gold and metals.

This year Socrates has appointed three board members, Bridgecorp business development manager Andy Harris, financial planner Michael Macfarlane, University of Canterbury historian Neville Bennett and former Canterbury Community Trust Board member Lindsay Jeffs.

“It’s a brainstorming type board,” Drace says.

Drace says he will be making the investment decisions, and some external managers will be used.

Drace says the decision to launch some funds allows him to put his ideas about investment into practice and is an evolution of his thinking over the past 15 years.

He says traditional financial planning is “too convoluted for the average person.”

“It puts off the people who want something simple.”

Drace rose to prominence many years ago when he decided to pull all his investors out of international shares.

He still believes that the world economy is heading for a major shake out and that is being speed up by the policies of United States president George Bush.

Socrates’ is looking have an income fund that will be conservative in nature and aim to generate a return which is better than bank accounts.

The main fund for his clients will be one which invests in commodities and third fund planned is the one which should attract the most attention – and that is a gold and metals fund.

Socrates expects to register a prospectus and investment statement next week. It is not seeking money from investors at present.

It has appointed ABN Amro Craigs to do all its dealing and provide research.

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