When registering for an account, it seems there is a large difference between how they "connect" with the australian banking system. Suppose I want to invest, say, 20000 AUD and use it to trade. I have a few questions about the process :
Getting money in. Does it work just like any other bank transfer ? I'd like to avoid international transfers, for obvious reasons. So is that possible with commsec ? Interactive Brokers ? OptionsXPress ?
The AUD would not be in the correct currency to trade. So say I want to invest in either an index fund, or a specific stock, with AUD in my brokerage account. How would it work exactly ? Can you just give a limit order on, say SPY (S&P 500 index fund), and how does the currency get converted ? Or do you just take your time and start by doing a FX trade first ?
Getting money out. What can you do with the money in your brokerage account. Can I transfer AUD in my brokerage account back into my bank account (say I want to buy a good bottle of wine after doing well).
What if I want to transfer money out into another account (I'm an expat, so I may want to deposit money into an EU bank account)
Can you transfer stocks from one broker to another without converting them into money in between ? Suppose I regret my broker choice, but I have positions open. Can I just tell one broker to transfer the stock directly into my own account with another broker ?
The sites of the brokers are not very informative on all these points. I've tried searching the IB site, and while it is probably informative if you're an American, it's not very accessible for someone in Australia.