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Almost Midway Through 2018, Investors Remain Upbeat on Outlook for U.S. and Global Markets

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Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 25 – Reveals Client Insight

TOKYO and Plantation, Fla. and HONG KONG, June 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TradeStation, a Monex Group company (Monex Group, Inc. is listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE:8698)) and award-winning* broker-dealer and futures commission merchant, today announced the results of the "Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 25." The survey found that U.S. investors who use the TradeStation analysis and trading platform have somewhat tempered their expectations for the U.S. equities market but remain solidly optimistic entering the second half of 2018.

Results of the recently conducted online survey show that nearly midway through 2018 U.S. investors remain bullish on their outlook for global equities markets, though expectations have been tempered since the start of this year. Of U.S. survey respondents, 42% said they expect global stocks to further advance in the next three months – down from 62% in the last survey in December 2017 but nearly identical to the 41% result one year ago in June 2017. The percentage of those expecting global equities to remain flat ticked up to 34% (from 24% in December), as did the percentage of respondents expecting global equities markets to decline over the next three months, rising to 24% (from 14% in December).

Interestingly, however, when asked about their expectations for the U.S. equities market over the next three months, U.S. investors were even more bullish than six months ago. Nearly three in four (71%) say they expect U.S. stocks to outperform their counterparts in Europe/U.K., Asia (excluding Japan) and Japan, compared to 62% in the December survey. Expectations for the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar were similarly robust, with 65% of survey respondents expecting the U.S. economy to improve in 2018, and 58% expecting the U.S. dollar to strengthen against the other major currencies. These numbers likewise colored investors' expectations for their own trading activity over the next 12 months, with a solid majority (54%) saying they expect their own trading volume to increase in 2018, and just 10% saying they are likely to curtail their trading activity.

When questioned about the Federal Reserve and interest rates, the vast majority of U.S. investors (89%) expect the central bank to take further action this year. Of those, 22% expect the Fed to hike rates as early as its meeting this month.

"The survey results show that while U.S. investors remain committed to traditional equities markets, growing numbers are also exploring alternative assets such as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies," said John Bartleman, President of TradeStation Group, Inc. "In the last six months, TradeStation has added trading in Bitcoin futures and real-time data for Bitcoin and other leading digital tokens. Our goal is to be at the forefront of virtual currency innovation in the U.S., and eventually to be able to offer our clients trading and investment opportunities in these novel new products."

In other survey results:

  • When asked about which industry sectors would provide attractive opportunities over the next three months, U.S. investors cited technology (84%), energy (69%) and healthcare (59%).
  • Investors remain nearly evenly divided in their perceptions of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. On the one hand, 53% said they have no interest in virtual currency – a number virtually unchanged from six months ago (52%). On the other hand, the percentage of respondents who said they already have invested in virtual currency continues to climb, rising to 17% from 11% in December 2017 and just 3% a year ago.
  • In voluntary comments offered by those who have already invested in cryptocurrency, investors hailed crypto as "the future of currency" and "the next great technology." Those who have not invested in virtual currency were more likely to take a wait-and-see approach, with one investor noting that he's "waiting for further maturity in the market and greater security at the exchanges."

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 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. (TSE: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.

* Visit TradeStation.com/Awards for more information.

TradeStation Securities, Inc. (Member NYSEFINRACME, SIPC, NSCC, DTC & OCC) 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 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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