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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?

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  • Note that for option1 you'll probably need to file a W-8BEN too e.g hl.co.uk/shares/share-dealing/overseas-share-dealing-service . And I'd be surprised if you could invest in mutual funds via option1 (ETFs shouldn't be a problem). I'm not aware of any other options than the ones you list though.
    – timday
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 21:41

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