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The NY Times says:

He cited the example of buying a one-year Australian government bond, yielding 5.25 percent. He said he believed that the American dollar was going to lose value and the Australian dollar was going to gain it. That’s Part 1. Part 2 is that the Australian government is stable, so an investor can count on receiving that 5 percent annual return. The alternative is less than half of a percent if invested in United States Treasuries.

The article discusses the risks involved, and says wealthy investors are investing directly.

For a non-wealthy U.S. citizen, what's the easiest way to buy Australian government bonds, or a fund of same?

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Kiplinger's has an article about buying foreign bonds directly, but the catch is you need to have 100,000 approx (or more) to invest in the bonds. (hence the 'wealthy' adjective before the investors in the NYTimes story).

Everbank also apparently lets you do it with 20k minimums but their selection seems to be small.

It appears you can also buy them directly from the Reserve Bank of Australia even as a non-resident.

An easier, close approximation would be to buy currencyshares ETFs. Here's the Australian one: FXA.

And finally, here's a real reason why you should not do this.

  • Buying from the RBA looks logistically challenging. For example, the Identification Reference Form. I have no idea what the "Registry of Inscribed Stock" is. – dfrankow Dec 1 '10 at 1:07
  • @drankow It certainly does look challenging. Not as easy as the us treasury makes it ... thats for sure. – Michael Pryor Dec 1 '10 at 14:44
  • umm its just the place where you send the form... not really that hard to understand. A registry is a place that stores information about something. In this case the registry is the place that issues the bonds and processes payments. You can get the address from their website. – Anonymous Type Dec 6 '10 at 22:14
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Buy from the RBA, minimum price is $1000.00 in multiples of $1000.00 fee is $2.50 per 1000

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