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Full Speed Ahead: With a Year of Uncertainty Resolved, Investor Confidence Surges Entering 2017

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TOKYO, PLANTATION, Fla. and HONG KONG, Dec. 15, 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 award-winning broker-dealer and futures commission merchant, today announced the results of the "Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 22." The survey found that U.S. investors who use the TradeStation analysis and trading platform appear to have put Brexit and election year uncertainties behind them and are poised to enter 2017 with high expectations for the U.S. economy and global equities markets.

Results of the recently conducted online survey show that entering 2017, U.S. investors' perception of global equities markets is markedly improved from just six months earlier. Fully half (50%) of U.S. survey respondents said they expect global stocks to gain ground in the next three months, compared to just 26% in June 2016. The percentage of those expecting global equities to remain flat fell to 16% from 47% in June, while the percentage of respondents expecting global equities markets to decline over the next three months edged up to 34% from 27% in June.

When queried about their expectations for the U.S. economy in 2017 compared to 2016, U.S investors replied with a resounding vote of confidence. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents (65%) said they expect the economy to improve in the coming year, while just one in five respondents (20%) predicted deterioration in economic conditions. This is in sharp contrast to their expectations for Japan, the EU and China: solid majorities of U.S investors foresee either flat or deteriorating economic conditions in Japan (78%), the EU (69%) and China (63%).

When questioned about the Federal Reserve and interest rates, investors also expressed strong confidence that the central bank will hike interest rates much sooner rather than later. In fact, more than seven in ten (72%) expect the Fed to raise rates at its December 2016 meeting, and another 16% expect a rate hike no later than the first quarter of 2017.

"After months of uncertainty tied to Brexit, the Federal Reserve and the presidential election, U.S. investor confidence appears to have rebounded to the highest levels we've seen in some time," said John Bartleman, President of TradeStation Group, Inc. "More than half of the survey respondents say they expect their trading volume to increase in 2017. At TradeStation, we're actively developing and refining innovative trading tools and apps that position our clients to explore trading opportunities in these improving market conditions."

In other survey results:

  • Investors' expectations for their own trading activity over the next 12 months rose compared to six months ago. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they expect to increase their trading volume, up from 40% in June 2016. Just 5% of respondents expect their trading volume to decline in the coming year.

  • Expectations for U.S. equities rose strongly, with 83% 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 2017, compared to 69% in June 2016. Expectations for the U.S. dollar were little changed from the previous survey, with 68% expecting the U.S. dollar to strengthen the most of any currency over the next three months, up from 65% in June.

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. 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, an investment recommendation 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 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 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 1.6 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, and the U.S. online brokerage market through its 2011 acquisition of TradeStation.

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 a member of the major stock, options and futures exchanges in the United States. 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 Securities, Inc. Loren Lopez +1-954-652-7011 llopez@tradestation.com Monex Boom Securities (HK) Limited Grace Chow +852-22558880

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