Uncertainty About Global Equities Markets, Federal Reserve Policy Direction Tempers Investors' Enthusiasm Moving Forward

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TOKYO, PLANTATION, Fla. and HONG KONG, June 30, 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 results of the "Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 13," which suggest that growing pessimism about global equities markets – along with uncertainty over the Federal Reserve Bank's policy direction – have combined to dampen U.S. investor confidence entering the second half of 2014.

In the online survey conducted in June 2014, U.S investors' perception of global equities turned more negative, with fewer than one in three (29%) predicting that global stocks will rise in the third quarter of 2014, well below the 46% and 54% who predicted a rise in the March 2014 and December 2013 quarterly surveys, respectively. The percentage of U.S. survey respondents who see global equities markets declining in the next three months jumped to 35% from 26% in the March 2014 survey.

Another possible contributor to investors' somewhat diminished enthusiasm: uncertainty about where Federal Reserve Bank policy is heading, and when. When asked about the tapering of the Fed's quantitative easing program, investors were split down the middle – 46% predict the Fed's asset purchases will end this year as planned, but 54% say that they will not or that they simply do not know. Investors expressed similar uncertainty when asked when the Fed will begin to raise interest rates again – just under half (48%) answered 2015, just under a third opted for 2016, and 21% predicted 2017.

Not surprisingly, these perceptions colored investors' expectations for their own trading volume over the next 12 months. Compared to March 2014, there was a slight uptick – from 57% to 60% – in the percentage of respondents who expect their trading volume to increase over the next year; at the same time, however, the percentage of investors expecting to trade less over the coming year more than doubled, to 9% from 4% in March 2014.

While investors remain focused on the U.S. equities markets – 58% of TradeStation customers expect U.S. stocks to outperform stocks in Europe/U.K., Asia (excluding Japan) and Japan -- slightly down from 61% last quarter – they expressed somewhat less enthusiasm about the opportunities those markets may present. For example, the percentage of investors who consider stocks to be an attractive investment in 2014 dropped from 70% to 59%. Similar declines in favorable investor sentiment were seen with ETFs, options, futures and foreign exchange, while more conservative holdings like bonds and mutual funds saw a slight uptick in favorability.

"This quarter's results draw a mixed picture," said Salomon Sredni, CEO of TradeStation Group, Inc. and COO of Monex Group, Inc. "Although investors are clearly struggling through a period of uncertainty, a solid majority of TradeStation clients still foresee their trading volume continuing to increase through 2014. So it's more important than ever that we work to ensure that our clients have the best possible tools and resources to help address their uncertainties and take advantage of opportunities that these markets present."

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, advice or a recommendation of any kind, or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities, securities derivatives, futures or off-exchange foreign currency products or services.

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 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 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 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.