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Investors Turn More Positive on the Outlook for Global Equities Markets

TOKYO, PLANTATION, Fla. and HONG KONG, Oct. 7, 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. 14," which finds U.S. investors' confidence on the upswing, a shift noteworthy in that it accompanies growing anticipation of changes in Federal Reserve Bank monetary policy beginning in 2015.

In the online survey conducted in September 2014, U.S. investors' perception of the global equities markets took a decidedly positive turn after plummeting in the previous quarter's survey. Nearly half (45%) of survey respondents expect global stocks to rise in the fourth quarter of 2014, a healthy jump from 29% in June, and more in line with the 46% and 54% predicting such a rise in the March 2014 and December 2013 quarterly surveys, respectively. However, the stubborn percentage of survey respondents who see global equities markets declining in the next three months fell only slightly, to 33% from 35% in the June 2014 survey.

Growing U.S. investor confidence comes at a time when investors also foresee imminent changes in Federal Reserve Bank monetary policy. Over half of the survey respondents (54%) now expect the Fed to start pulling back from its policy of "quantitative easing" by the end of this year, as planned – up from 46% in June. Moreover, when asked when they expect the Fed to taper its asset purchases and begin raising interest rates again, nearly four in five investors (78%) predicted either the first or the second half of 2015.

Investors' more upbeat outlook on global equities markets was reflected in their expectations for their own trading volume over the next 12 months. A solid majority (61%) expect their trading volume to increase over the next year. Interestingly enough, that figure is only barely changed from the June and March 2014 surveys, when 60% and 57% of investors, respectively, said they anticipate increasing their trading activity in the coming year. Only one in 20 investors (5%) said they expect to trade less over the coming year.

As in previous surveys, investors have their eyes set squarely on the U.S. equities markets, with 72% expecting U.S. stocks to outperform stocks in Europe/U.K., Asia (excluding Japan) and Japan in the final quarter of 2014. Likewise, over half (52%) of those surveyed expect the U.S. dollar to strengthen the most of any currency over the next three months. While nearly two in three investors (65%) consider stocks to be an attractive investment for the remainder of the year, options and futures received a resounding vote of confidence, with 78% of those surveyed saying these markets present attractive opportunities through the remainder of 2014.

"This quarter's U.S. survey results suggest that investor expectations for financial markets may well have turned a corner," said Salomon Sredni, CEO of TradeStation Group, Inc. and COO of Monex Group, Inc. "Investors are more upbeat about global equities, about U.S. equities and the dollar – and that's reflected in their positive outlook for their own trading activity going forward. Our job at TradeStation is to ensure that our clients have superior trading and analysis tools that can help them make the most 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.

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. 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 Securities, Inc. (Member NYSE, FINRA, SIPC, NSCC, DTC, OCC & NFA) is a licensed securities broker-dealer and a registered futures commission merchant, and also a member of the Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Stock Exchange, International Securities Exchange and NASDAQ OMX. 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 forex brokerage services directly and through its TradeStation Forex division. IBFX Australia Pty Ltd is registered with ASIC and provides forex brokerage services outside of the United States. The company's technology subsidiary, TradeStation Technologies, Inc., develops and offers strategy trading software tools and subscription services. TradeStation Europe Limited, an FSA-authorized brokerage firm, introduces UK and other European accounts to TradeStation Securities, Inc., IBFX, Inc. and IBFX Australia Pty Ltd.

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. Yuko Machida +81-3-4323-8698 TradeStation Securities, Inc. Loren Lopez +1 (954) 652-7011 Monex Boom Securities (HK) Limited Grace Chow +852-22558880

Source:TradeStation Group, Inc.