Proshare seeks 100,000 investors

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PROSHARE, the Department of Trade and Industry-sponsored body that encourages share ownership, yesterday launched a separate association aimed at further educating investors, writes Jason Nisse.

Sir Peter Thompson, the chairman of Proshare, said it had set a target of 100,000 members for its association, paying pounds 30 a year and so funding the group, which so far has attracted around pounds 4m to keep it going for its first three years.

Proshare is researching the investment patterns of the UK's 10 million shareholders, though it is known that more than two thirds of them hold only one stock.

The aims of the association will be to educate investors in the risks and rewards of investing in shares. Sir Peter said that he was convinced that in a low inflation, low interest rate environment - which he expects for the 1990s - shares regain their place as the best investment vehicle. He said that over the past 30 years shares had been the best investment, though he admitted this had not been the case over the past five years.

One benefit of joining the Proshare Association will be a free consultation with one of about 60 private client stockbrokers around the country.

Proshare will monitor these meetings to ensure that the broker is giving the corrrect advice, not merely encouraging investors to buy shares when this might not be the best strategy.

'Meeting a live stockbroker and finding out what he is like is part of the educational process,' Sir Peter said.

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