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Domestic Political Climate, Economic Concerns Dampen Global Equities Outlook for U.S. Investors

TOKYO, PLANTATION, Fla. and HONG KONG, Jan. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TradeStation Securities ("TradeStation"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex Group, Inc. (TSE: 8698), which also includes Monex, Inc. ("Monex") and Monex Boom Securities, today announced the results of the "Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 7," revealing that congressional gridlock and other policy concerns, along with a still struggling domestic economy, dimmed U.S. investors' outlook on global equities heading into 2013.

In the online survey conducted in December 2012, U.S. investors turned decidedly pessimistic, with 42% predicting that global equities would turn down in the first three months of 2013, versus just 32% predicting that global stocks would rise and 25% predicting that they would remain flat. The survey results also made clear that domestic political and economic concerns were primarily responsible for investor pessimism: nearly two in three respondents (64%) cited either U.S. political policies or lingering economic weakness as factors influencing their investment decisions.

These same concerns on the part of U.S. investors also upended the "home bias" effect seen in previous surveys. Whereas in the two previous quarterly surveys conducted in June and September 2012, fully 64% of TradeStation customers expected U.S. stocks to outperform stocks in Europe/U.K., Asia (excluding Japan) and Japan, that number plummeted 21 points to just 43% in December – below the 46% of U.S. investors who expect Asian stocks (excluding Japan) to perform best over the first quarter of 2013. TradeStation customers remain relatively upbeat about the U.S. dollar, with a plurality of those surveyed (35%) expecting the dollar to outperform the other major currencies in the next three months.

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.

Given their concerns about domestic politics and the U.S. economy, it's perhaps not surprising that TradeStation customers remain relatively positive on the outlook for China. Forty-seven percent of respondents cited China as the economic area outside their own that would experience the strongest GDP growth in 2013, with South America finishing second at 35%. Moreover, nearly half of U.S. investors (47%) expressed optimism that the Chinese economy would avoid a "hard landing," with just 29% predicting the opposite.

"The survey is consistent with other customer input we have that suggests that trading opportunities are increasingly difficult to find," said Salomon Sredni, CEO of TradeStation Group, Inc. and COO of Monex Group, Inc. "In that environment, the powerful tools that TradeStation provides can be even more important."

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 (HK) 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 exclusively provides the company's forex brokerage offering. The company's technology subsidiary, TradeStation Technologies, Inc., develops and offers strategy trading software tools and subscription services. Its London-based subsidiary, TradeStation Europe Limited, an FSA-authorized brokerage firm, introduces UK and other European accounts to TradeStation Securities, Inc. and IBFX, Inc.

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.