Turning of the Tide: Amid Improving Outlook for Global Equities, U.S Investors Expect to Increase Their Trading Volume Entering 2014

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Tokyo, Japan, Plantation, Florida and Hong Kong, China
Friday, December 20, 2013

Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 11 – Reveals Client Insight

TradeStation, a Monex Group company (Monex Group, Inc. is listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, code: 8698), today announced the results of the “Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 11,” revealing that a more upbeat outlook for global equities markets has U.S. investors poised to increase their trading volume entering 2014.

In the online survey conducted in November 2013, U.S. investors’ perception of the global equities markets took a decidedly positive turn, with 54% predicting that global stocks will rise in the first quarter of 2014, up from just 30% predicting such an increase in September 2013. Only one in four survey respondents (26%) sees global equities markets declining entering 2014.

U.S. investors’ more buoyant outlook for global equities raised expectations for their own trading volume over the next 12 months. Fifty-nine percent of respondents expected their trading volume to increase in 2014, up from just 44% in September. That’s positive news for U.S. equities markets in particular, as some 63% of TradeStation customers expect U.S. stocks to outperform stocks in Europe/U.K., Asia (excluding Japan) and Japan, up 5 points from September and 20 points above the 43% figure posted as recently as December 2012. Of the 67% of investors who consider stocks to be an attractive investment in 2014, fully 91% expect to concentrate their trading in the U.S. equities markets.

Moreover, investors’ growing optimism extends beyond stocks to options, futures and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Some 76% of TradeStation customers view options and futures as attractive investments for 2014, while 68% were similarly positive on next year’s outlook for ETFs.

“This quarter’s results suggest that after several challenging years, investors foresee growing opportunities in both domestic and international markets as we enter 2014,” said Salomon Sredni, CEO of TradeStation Group, Inc. and COO of Monex Group, Inc. “With investors poised to increase their trading volume, TradeStation is laser-focused on ensuring that our clients have the tools and resources they need to take advantage of these growing opportunities.”

Monex has been conducting its monthly retail investor survey with its Japanese clients since October 2009. The “Monex Global Retail Investor Survey,” covering retail clients in Japan, Hong Kong and the U.S., was launched in June 2011 and is conducted on a quarterly basis. Please refer to the full report for complete results.

Other key findings of the survey include:

• TradeStation customers are somewhat less bullish on prospects for the U.S. dollar, with 41% expecting the dollar to outperform the other major currencies in the next three months. That’s down from 51% last quarter but above the 35% figure posted a year ago in December 2012.

• U.S. investors continue to see China playing an important role on the global economic stage, with 46% of respondents citing China as the economic area outside their own that would experience the strongest GDP growth over the next 12 months.

The Monex Global Retail Investor Survey measures customer sentiment based upon answers to specific questions received from a random sampling of customers of Monex, Inc., TradeStation Securities, Inc., IBFX, Inc., and Monex Boom Securities (H.K.) Ltd. Details of the methodology used to conduct the survey are available upon request. Accuracy and completeness of the data derived from the survey is not guaranteed.

The information contained herein should not be construed as investment research or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities, securities derivatives, futures or off-exchange foreign currency products or services. Investor sentiment derived from the survey responses is no guarantee of future performance or success.

Active trading regardless of asset class (equities, futures, foreign exchange) carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. Relevant risk disclosures are available at www.tradestation.com

About Monex Group Inc.

Monex Group Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange 1st section: 8698), including its main subsidiary Monex Inc. (Tokyo, Oki Matsumoto, Chairman and CEO), an online securities brokerage, provides advanced and unique financial services to individual investors. Monex Group has been a pioneer among Japanese online securities brokers since the complete liberalization of commissions and fees in stock brokerages in 1999. Monex relentlessly strives to offer its customers in Japan innovative products and services and has established its reputation as a unique independent financial institution group. Its services cover M&A advisory, debt & equity underwriting, asset management focusing on alternative investments, investment education, and other investment banking functions along with an online distribution network to more than 1.2 million individual investors in Japan.

Monex Group aims to globalize its customer base and businesses in addition to enhancing its global product line and services. Specifically, in recent years, Monex has embarked on an ambitious plan to strengthen its products and services globally by focusing its expansion efforts to date on the growing Chinese market, by opening representative offices in Beijing and acquiring Boom Securities (H.K.) Limited and its group companies in Hong Kong. As a core element in the further expansion and global diversification of its businesses, it has been seeking opportunities to expand into the U.S. market, which it saw as the missing pillar in achieving a truly global platform. The acquisition of TradeStation provides Monex with an immediate expansion and strong commercial presence in the U.S. online brokerage market.

About TradeStation Group, Inc.

TradeStation Group, Inc. through its principal operating subsidiaries, TradeStation Securities, Inc. and IBFX, Inc. offers the TradeStation analysis and trading platform to the active trader and certain institutional trader markets. The TradeStation platform offers electronic order execution and enables clients to design, test, optimize, monitor and automate their own custom Equities, Options, Futures and Forex trading strategies.

TradeStation Securities, Inc. (Member NYSE, FINRA, SIPC, NSCC, DTC, OCC & NFA) is a licensed securities broker-dealer and a registered futures commission merchant, and also a member of the Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Stock Exchange, International Securities Exchange and NASDAQ OMX. Its TradeStation Prime Services division, based in New York, seeks to provide prime brokerage services, including securities lending, to small and mid-sized hedge funds and other firms. IBFX, Inc. (Member NFA) is a Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED) that provides forex brokerage services directly and through its TradeStation Forex division. IBFX Australia Pty Ltd is registered with ASIC and provides forex brokerage services outside of the United States. The company’s technology subsidiary, TradeStation Technologies, Inc., develops and offers strategy trading software tools and subscription services. TradeStation Europe Limited, an FCA-authorized brokerage firm, introduces UK and other European accounts to TradeStation Securities, Inc., IBFX, Inc. and IBFX Australia Pty Ltd.

About Monex Boom Securities (H.K.) Limited

Monex Boom Securities (H.K.) Limited ("BOOM") offers multi-market and multi-currency online securities trading services to investors all around the world. With BOOM’s proprietary web-based trading platform, investors can trade equities in all major exchanges and manage different major currencies via one single account. Currently, it offers access to securities listed on over 17 stock markets in 12 countries. In addition, BOOM also develops trading solutions for other financial institutions.

Being the first company to launch Internet stock trading in Asia/Pacific, BOOM introduced a new pattern of self-directed cross-border investment by applying new technology to traditional equities trading and financial services. BOOM aims to provide retail investors with PRIVATE, EASE, SPEEDINESS and INEXPENSIVE international stock trading services.

BOOM is a fully licensed Broker / Dealer regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Hong Kong. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex Group, one of the largest online financial services providers in Japan.

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