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U.S Investors Enter 2016 More Bullish – and With No Plans to Curtail Their Trading Activity in the Coming Year

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TOKYO, PLANTATION, Fla. and HONG KONG, Dec. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TradeStation, a Monex Group company (Monex Group, Inc. is listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, code: 8698) and an award-winning broker-dealer and futures commission merchant, today announced results of the "Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 19." The survey found that U.S. investors who use the TradeStation online platform will enter the new year slightly more optimistic about the outlook for global and domestic equities than they were last quarter – and with no plans to lessen their own trading activity in 2016.

Results of the recently conducted online survey show that these U.S. investors' perception of the global equities markets improved slightly in the final quarter of 2015. One-third of U.S. survey respondents expect global stocks to gain ground in the first calendar quarter of 2016, up from 26% in September 2015; the percentage of respondents expecting global equities markets to decline over the next three months fell from 51% to 37% in September. Nearly half (47%) of these investors (47%) see the global economy improving in 2016, as opposed to 38% who see global economic conditions deteriorating in the coming year.

Expectations for U.S. equities and the U.S. dollar similarly rose, with 77% of those surveyed saying they expect U.S. stocks to outperform stocks in Europe/U.K., Asia (excluding Japan) and Japan in the first quarter of 2016, up from 70% in September. Seventy-seven percent also expect the U.S. dollar to strengthen the most of any currency over the next three months, up from 60% in September.

Interestingly, these modestly positive shifts in sentiment appear to have had virtually no impact on investors' expectations for their own trading activity. When asked about their own trading volume over the next 12 months, 53% of respondents said they expect to increase their trading volume – virtually unchanged from 52% in the September survey.  Fewer than one in ten respondents (9%) expect their trading volume to decline in 2016.

"While we've seen investor sentiment rise and fall over the past year, the one constant has been that our client base appears to have no intention of scaling back their trading volume, regardless of where they feel the markets may be headed," said Salomon Sredni, CEO of TradeStation Group, Inc. and COO of Monex Group, Inc. "Entering 2016, we're focused on ensuring that TradeStation remains the desktop platform of choice for active traders, as well as on adding new features to our web and mobile apps to give these traders more freedom and flexibility in choosing how and from where they trade."

As for changes in Federal Reserve Bank monetary policy, investors appear confident that the day of reckoning has finally arrived: more than half (53%) of survey respondents expect the Fed to begin raising interest rates by the end of this year, while another 26% expect the Fed to take action no later than the first quarter of 2016.

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.

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, options, 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. (a/k/a TradeStation Forex), 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 Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex Group, Inc., one of the largest online financial services providers in Japan.

TradeStation Securities, Inc. (Member NYSE, FINRA, SIPC, NSCC, DTC, OCC & NFA) is a licensed securities broker-dealer and a registered futures commission merchant (FCM), and also a member of BATS's BZX, BYX, EDGX and EDGA Exchanges, BOX Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Stock Exchange, International Securities Exchange, NASDAQ OMX BX, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, NASDAQ Stock Market, NYSE Arca and NYSE Mkt. 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 the company's forex brokerage offering, and IBFX Australia Pty Ltd (ASIC regulated) provides forex brokerage services outside of the United States. The London-based subsidiary, TradeStation Europe Limited (FCA regulated), introduces UK and other European accounts to TradeStation Securities, Inc. and IBFX, Inc. The company's technology subsidiary, TradeStation Technologies, Inc., develops and offers strategy trading software tools and subscription services, and hosts the TradingApp® Store.

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.

Monex, Inc. Yumi Matsuzaki +81-3-4323-3800 TradeStation Securities, Inc. Loren Lopez +1 (954) 652-7011 Monex Boom Securities (HK) Limited Grace Chow +852-22558880

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