HI I wish to invest in top USA mutual funds (Vanguard, T-Rowe). I was told by the fund that as a foreign national I could not do so directly. Do you know how I could without excessive fees? I am an Australian citizen with an Australian bank account savings (though living abroad for the last 2 years). I also have a US bank account and means of transferring money to the US. eg go through Vanguard Australia or is it not same access to same funds?
It looks like your best option is to go with an online broker. There are many available. Some of them won't let you open an account online as a foreign national but will allow you to open one through the mail. See more about that http://finance.zacks.com/can-nonus-citizen-trade-us-stocks-9654.html
Also keep in mind that you will need to pay taxes on any capital gains made through selling http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p519.pdf