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Buoyed by a Strong Economy and Booming Markets, Investors Have High Expectations Entering 2018

Tokyo, Japan, Plantation, Florida and Hong Kong, China
Friday, December 15, 2017

Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 24 – Reveals Client Insight

TradeStation, a Monex Group company (Monex Group, Inc. is listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, code: 8698) and award-winning* broker-dealer and futures commission merchant, today announced the results of the “Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 24.” The survey found that U.S. investors who use the TradeStation analysis and trading platform expect the U.S. economy and global equities markets to continue to perform well in 2018.

Results of the recently conducted online survey show that as 2017 draws to a close U.S. investors’ perception of global equities markets has improved significantly over the year. Of U.S. survey respondents, 62% said they expect global stocks to further advance in the next three months – up from 41% in the last survey in June 2017, and up from 26% in the December 2016 survey. The percentage of those expecting global equities to remain flat dropped to 24% (from 34% in June), while the percentage of respondents expecting global equities markets to decline over the next three months dropped to 14% (from 25% in June).

Asked about their expectations for the U.S. equities market over the next three months, U.S investors are increasingly bullish: 62% expect U.S. stocks to outperform their counterparts in Europe/U.K., Asia (excluding Japan) and Japan. Expectations for the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar are similarly stout: 65% of survey respondents expect the U.S. economy to improve in 2018, while 52% expect the U.S. dollar to strengthen against the other major currencies. Perhaps not surprisingly given these views, investors’ expectations for their own trading activity over the next 12 months have improved as well, with nearly two-thirds (64%) saying they expect their own trading volume to increase in 2018.

When questioned about the Federal Reserve and interest rates, a majority of U.S. investors (60%) expect the central bank to bump up rates at its meeting this month.

“The survey results show a pretty remarkable turnaround in investors’ perceptions of the economy and markets compared to just twelve months ago,” said John Bartleman, President of TradeStation Group, Inc. “Early next year, we plan to roll out the fastest, most versatile and powerful version of TradeStation ever released, with the goal of enabling our clients to pursue trading opportunities associated with improved market conditions, should they occur.”

In other survey results:

  • Derivatives, stocks and ETFs are the investment vehicles of choice for U.S. investors. Strong majorities consider options and futures (81%), stocks (78%) and ETFs (61%) to be attractive investment opportunities in 2018.
  • Investors’ perceptions remain largely unfazed by the specter of growing international tensions. When asked whether the perception of increasing geopolitical risk (e.g., North Korean missile tests) had altered their investment strategy, just 16% said such considerations had caused them to change strategy, which is barely changed from six months ago.
  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are slowly but surely making inroads into investors’ consciousness. While a bare majority of respondents (52%) said they have no interest in virtual currency – a number virtually unchanged from six months ago (51%) – the percentage of respondents who said they already have invested in virtual currency, while still modest, rose nearly fourfold to 11% from just 3% six months ago. Additionally, just over one-quarter of respondents (26%) say they are interested in virtual currency but have not yet invested in it.

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. (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 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 NYSE, FINRA, SIPC, NSCC, DTC, OCC & CME) 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.

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