Market Overview

Economic and Election-Year Uncertainties Won't Deter Active Investors in 2016


TOKYO, PLANTATION, Fla. and HONG KONG, March 16, 2016 (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, announced the results of the "Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 20" today. The survey found that while U.S. investors who use the TradeStation online platform have dampened their expectations for global and domestic equities since last quarter, they have no plans to curtail their trading activity going forward in 2016.

Results of the recently conducted online survey show that these U.S. investors' perception of the global equities markets deteriorated slightly in the first quarter of 2016. One-quarter of U.S. survey respondents expect global stocks to gain ground in the second quarter of 2016, down from 33% in December 2015; the percentage of respondents expecting global equities markets to decline over the next three months rose to 43% from 37% in December 2015.

This downturn in investor sentiment appears tied to growing concern about the domestic economy. When asked about the prospects for the U.S. economy in 2016, roughly one in four survey respondents (24%) believe there is a high probability of the economy entering a recession this year, while 37% believe there is some probability of an economic downturn. Only about a quarter (26%) of those surveyed see little or low probability of the U.S. economy dipping into a recession this year.

As in previous surveys, even downward shifts in sentiment appear to have virtually no impact on investors' expectations for their own trading activity. When asked about their own trading volume over the next 12 months, 51% of respondents said they expect to increase their trading volume – virtually unchanged from 53% and 52%, respectively, in the December 2015 and September 2015 surveys. Just 11% of respondents expect their trading volume to decline in 2016.

Similarly, investors appear mostly unfazed by uncertainty surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election. When asked in separate questions how the election of a Democratic or a Republican presidential candidate in November would affect their investment outlook, pluralities of respondents – 40% in the case of a Democratic victor, 38% in the case of a Republican winner ­– said the election outcome "does not matter."

"The survey results suggest that savvy investors and traders will continue to seek opportunities in the markets regardless of factors like political and economic uncertainty," said Salomon Sredni, CEO of TradeStation Group, Inc. and COO of Monex Group, Inc. "TradeStation is focused on building and constantly refining superior trading tools that provide trading opportunities for our clients – no matter which way the markets head in 2016."

In other survey results:

  • Expectations for U.S. equities and the U.S. dollar were only modestly lower than in the previous quarter, with 70% of those surveyed saying they expect U.S. stocks to outperform stocks in Europe/U.K., Asia (excluding Japan) and Japan in the second quarter of 2016, down slightly from 77% in December 2015. Sixty-one percent also expect the U.S. dollar to strengthen the most of any currency over the next three months, down from 77% in December.
  • Lingering signs of economic weakness also appear to have tamped down investors' near-term expectations for changes in Federal Reserve Bank policy: only 21% of those surveyed expect the Fed to further raise interest rates in the first half of 2016, while 36% expect no further action by the Fed until 2017 or later.

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., 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 or futures 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) carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. Relevant risk disclosures are available at

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 subsidiary, TradeStation Securities, 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 and futures 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 & CME) 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. The London-based subsidiary, TradeStation Europe Limited (FCA regulated), introduces UK and other European accounts to TradeStation Securities, 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.

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

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