[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 October, 2003, 08:09 GMT 09:09 UK
Trading on the Costa del Sol
By Paul Rocks
Costa del Sol, Spain

The idea of swapping a city office for a place in the sun is something many people can only dream about.

But rising office costs in the City of London prompted futures trader James Lear to see what options were available to him.

He checked out the technology and decided he was going to work from his new home - in the south of Spain.

James now trades from his apartment near San Pedro, on the Costa del Sol, using specialist financial software.

"We used to laugh about it and say could it ever be done - could you sit with a lap top next to a swimming pool somewhere?" he said.

Sunnyside up

James by the pool
We used to laugh about it and say could it ever be done - could you sit with a lap top next to a swimming pool somewhere?
James Lear
The trader, originally from east London, used to trade in "the pit" on the LIFFE floor, until it was closed in 1999.

"After that I moved to an office in the city and that was expensive, with anything between 1,500 and 2,000 a month for a desk and a computer.

"With the PATS system I use now you just buy the software and then it costs 500 a month to use it so it works out a lot cheaper," he said.

"The screen is laid out in a way a trader can understand. You get the prices coming in all the time from the different markets around the world and it has to be fast.

"It has got to be under a quarter of a second whenever you put an order in or else it could cost you a lot of money."

Technically able

James has a 1meg ADSL connection in his apartment linked to a PC running his trading software and a laptop that keeps him up-to-date with the financial news.

It costs 60 euros a month for the line and he says it is faster than the connection he had in his London office.

The 35-year-old trader trades mainly in short sterling and has to keep a close eye on any news on the quarterly interest rate changes.

James at work
James wants to expand his operation
But he said there are no barriers preventing him looking at other markets.

He said: "Time zone wise there is no problem because I can work along all the European spectrum of trade and it's even better here because I start at 0830 instead of 0730 which means I get an extra hour in bed.

"The other advantage is that Spain is such a nice place to live. I thought I would just be able to make a living but the trading has been pretty good.

"Now I want to expand the operation here and set up a little office with like-minded traders and keep the costs really low so that we can get the best of both worlds."


MARKET DATA - 11:37 UK

FTSE 100
5428.78up
22.84 0.42%
Dax
5732.06up
18.55 0.32%
Cac 40
3783.91up
14.37 0.38%
Dow Jones
10403.79up
78.53 0.76%
Nasdaq
2273.57up
35.31 1.58%
Data delayed by at least 15 minutes

SEE ALSO:
The return of the small investor
29 Aug 03  |  Business
Online share trading 'surges'
11 Aug 03  |  Business
Derivatives - a simple guide
12 Feb 03  |  Business
Q&A: What is a City analyst?
31 Jul 02  |  Business


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific