I wish to invest in multiple US-based mutual funds and companies. I already have an account with Charles Stanley Direct for my UK-based funds and was disappointed to see that I couldn't use their service for this purpose.
The way I understand it I have 2 options:
1) Find a broker that lets me buy overseas shares in sterling (£)
Dealing fee and commission fee for the currency conversion when buying and selling
Commission fees apply to dividends as well
Since account is in sterling, stocks can go into an ISA
2) Open an overseas account
Need a separate service to conduct currency conversion (but this would typically be cheaper than the fees from option 1)
Shares cannot contribute to an ISA (HM Revenue & Customs' rules forbid foreign currency in an ISA)
Shares can contribute to a SIPP
Need to file a W-8BEN document (?)
At first glance it seems like Option 2 is the cheaper option. Is this correct?
Are there other options? Are there any gotchas I have missed?