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Hello all

it seems information about Australian shares are commonly asked, so in my spare time i have trawled through a few sites that has better info than the Fool and have rated them.

From good to bad, here it is. Surf and Reply to which one's your favourite.

Stockhouse- www.stockhouse.com.au

One of the best i have everseen. Thus a 9 out of 10.
It wins due to a clean site and with individual folders
for each stock. Also folders for stocks on the US,
and Canada exchanges. However no off-topic folders.

Investorweb- www.investorweb.com.au

Nice looking, still not as clean as stockhouse. No folders for each stock but has charts and lots of info.
Apparently they have drinks, once a month in Sydney in the ANA Hotel. Adelaide has lunch every blue moon.
My rating 8 out of 10

Egoli- www.egoli.com.au

It's happening here, i think this is the most popular chat board. Run by Shaw Stockbroking, however site
suffers from one big group of postings posted together, instead of the title of the subject matter.
WA Miing Companies are pretty hot, and a lunch was recently organised.
rating 7.5 out of 10

Hotcopper- www.hotcopper.com.au

A bit clutterish, chat is a good option. That's about it. My rating 7 out of 10


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Lance

Thanks for posting those sites. As a relatively new Fool, I'm still trying to take in as much information as possible.

Thanks to all Fools who post to this board. Education by interaction is always the best.

It's really good to see some other Aussie Fools out there.

I'm sure that every new Fool posts questions asking questions that older Fools have seen many times, so please excuse me.

However, I am interested to see how Australian Fools invest their money - i.e. ASX vs US (NYSE & NASDAQ) and also the relative pros and cons.

How much more complex is US investing as against investing in Aus? The Fool certainly provides much more complete, honest and robust information, opinions and interaction than any comparative Aust site that I have seen, which makes me much more likely to begin investing in the US. As a beginner, the more information I can get, the better!

Thanks,

Gilla
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You forgot the one that contains the best quality posts for mine - The Chimes - although there are an increasing incidence of posts that look as if they properly belong on hotcopper.

Illy
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g'day gilla

i am 95% invested in US Stocks. information flows are better, investor relations departments actually exist,
they send information to you, they have web broadcasts of their quarterly meetings (Even Q&A with Analysts).

THE cons are Currency differences, time differences, and you have to be actively involved in monitoring your shares as the figures you read in the Financial Review are at least one day old.

The pros are that if you pick the right stock, you could have another Microsoft and Cisco on your hands as Australian companies are not recognised internationally apart from News Corp.

Hope it helps Lance
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Hi guys,
Another Aussie trying to grasp all the information that is available. A question for 'gilla' or any other trading Aussies. Do you deal directly with brokers in the US or use local 'discount' brokers? I know there is a lot of information on US discount brokers but not quite as much in Oz, or at least not brokers who have a 'user friendly' environmet when it comes to net broking. Whould appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
Cheers
Kath
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The local brokers have overseas agencies in every country. I do not use discount brokers offshore as it is far better to allow a local one to indeminify you in case something goes wrong.

;O)
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Kath,

Sorry, I'm just starting myself - so I can't answer that one. I know there are lots of other Oz Fools on this board who can answer with much more authority and experience.

demiller1,

The local brokers fees for US trades seem very high (comsec.com.au were advertising for $100!!!). Am I not looking in the right places, or do you cop the high fees in return for the indemnity you refer to? What will local brokers indemnify you against that US brokers wont?

Thanks,

Gilla
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The local fees are high - any trades that are undertaken are put in writing, to date I have been able to force the broker to repurchase shares that he sold without a buy order at no cost to me (they increased 25% and I was discussing the exchange rate with him if I did sell and he sold without written approval which was part of the agreement) AND the local broker is prepared to extend the credit funds due to you to reinvest. Exchanges of currency and balancing the books is undertaken every month and they indemnify for exchange rate movements.
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demiller1,

Thanks for the reply. As an investor wishing to follow the Fool's 'buy and hold' creed, (ie trading infrequently - hopefully only buying more of good companies, not selling!) would the considerations you pointed out justify the increased cost? I am aware of the potential effects of interest rate movements, but don't really expect them to make a huge dent in my invested funds. Potentially, I am going to invest on a regular basis, adding funds to existing positions and/or new ones. Effectively, this would have the same exchange rate effect as dollar-cost averaging - that is, by spacing out my investments, I am removing some of the day to day volatility.

I would be interested to hear other Fools' opinions as to the potential mid term (6-12 months) expectations of the exchange rate. My thoughts are that OS currency traders etc would be more likely to buy our currency when the Reserve Bank increases rates (thereby making our currency more attractive). I am expecting a rate rise (or two) in the next 6 months or so? Does anyone have any thoughts?
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