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Hello down-under Fools !

I'm new to posting to this board, but I've been "sniffing" around for a while...I have one main question and one "thought for the day".

I'm an Aussie working in the UK (and returning to OZ soon), and have some AUD$ to invest in the Australian market. I've looked into eTrade Australia and they charge $49 (plus $20 if trading by phone), and Commonwealth Securities charge $29 (Internet or phone).
I've heard rumours from friends downunder that ComSec have had some performance issues? My question is: what Australian "discount" Internet broker would people recommend? One of these two or another? Are there any issues because I'm living in the UK (though I have Australian address and bank accounts as this London thing is just a temporary abboration...), which leads me onto my second point...

My feedback:
I recently went to transfer some shares from Salomon Smith Barney to eTrade (US), filled out the on-line account application then printed and mailed the application as requested. I never heard any feedback by email, but two weeks later I received a letter from eTrade saying "...we are writing to inform you that a regulation within the United Kingdom securities industry prevents it's residents from establishing accounts with eTrade Securities, Inc a US corporation. Accordingly, we must return your application...blah blah apologies etc." I was rather disappointed, then got wondering:
- does the Australian securities industry prevent Australian residents from signing up with eTrade US (or any other US firm?)
- does eTrade Australia prevent this somehow (protecting it's Australian fledgling, for example...)
- have any UK readers in this board managed to "get around" this problem, which to me sounds more like the UK market trying to protect itself from competition...

Any thoughts?
Joe
(a new Fool !)

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