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U.S. Investors Remain Cautiously Optimistic About Prospects for the U.S. Economy and Markets Going Forward

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TOKYO, PLANTATION, Fla. and HONG KONG, March 31, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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. 12," revealing that a solid majority of U.S. investors see the American economy gradually gaining strength throughout the remainder of 2014.

In the online survey conducted in March 2014, just over two-thirds of U.S. investors (68%) expect the domestic economy to improve over the next year. However, virtually all of these investors (64%) expect that improvement to be "slight," with just 4% foreseeing "rapid" improvement. Only 18% predict no change in the economy, and an even smaller percentage (14%) anticipate further deterioration in economic conditions.

Investors' perception of the global equities markets remained relatively upbeat, with 46% predicting that global stocks will rise in the second quarter of 2014, down from 54% in the December 2013 quarterly survey but up from just 30% predicting such an increase as recently as September 2013. Only one in four survey respondents (26%) sees global equities markets declining in 2014, a figure unchanged from the December 2013 survey.

U.S. investors' cautious optimism is reflected in generally positive expectations for their own trading volume over the next 12 months. Ninety-six percent of respondents expect their trading volume to increase or stay the same over the next year; the already small percentage of investors expecting to trade less over the coming year declined to just 4% from 9% in December 2013. Investors expect most of the action to be in the U.S. equities markets – 61% of TradeStation customers expect U.S. stocks to outperform stocks in Europe/U.K., Asia (excluding Japan) and Japan.

Seventy percent of investors consider stocks to be an attractive investment in 2014, and 68% are similarly positive on the outlook for ETFs. Investors looking for trading opportunities may want to give options and futures a closer look, as a remarkable 85% of TradeStation clients surveyed pointed to these assets in particular as attractive investments for 2014.

"This quarter's results suggest that despite an abundance of caution, investors see real opportunities in markets such as equities, options and futures," said Salomon Sredni, CEO of TradeStation Group, Inc. and COO of Monex Group, Inc. "With the vast majority of TradeStation clients saying they expect to maintain or increase their trading volume in 2014, our job is to continually improve the tools and resources we offer so that they can take advantage of these 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 remain less than 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 figure is unchanged from the December 2013 survey but down from 51% in September 2013.
  • The November 2014 mid-term elections are unlikely to have any discernible influence on how U.S. investors approach the markets. Sixty percent of respondents said the mid-terms will have little or no impact on their investing, while fewer than one in ten investors (9%) expect the elections to have a major impact on their investing.
  • Investors see China's influence on the global economic stage as cooling but still significant. Thirty-six percent of respondents cited China as the economic area outside their own that would experience the strongest GDP growth over the next 12 months; while that figure is down from 46% in the December 2013 survey, it is still twice as large as the figure for runners-up the U.S. and U.K./EU, tied at 16%.

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. (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, 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 the BATS Y-Exchange, BATS-Z Exchange, BOX Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Stock Exchange, EDGA Exchange, EDGX 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.

CONTACT: 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

Source:TradeStation Group, Inc.

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