Will Presidential Politics Significantly Impact U.S. Investors' Outlook?

Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 2 Polls Its Clients

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| Source: TradeStation Group, Inc.

TOKYO, PLANTATION, Fla., and HONG KONG, Sept. 29, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TradeStation Securities, Inc. ("TradeStation"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex Group, Inc. (TSE: 8698), which also includes Monex, Inc. ("Monex") and Monex Boom Securities (H.K.) Ltd. ("BOOM") reveals in the "Monex Global Retail Investor Survey, Vol. 2" that presidential politics may play a less significant role in influencing investor behavior than many experts believe.

Monex has been conducting its monthly retail investor survey since October 2009 with its Japanese clients. The "Monex Retail Investor Survey" covering retail clients from Japan, Hong Kong and the U.S. started in June 2011, and will be conducted on quarterly basis.

According to a large portion of TradeStation's clients who responded to the survey, their expectations for the results of the presidential election will not affect their investment behavior. When TradeStation customers were asked if their expectations about the outcome of the race would impact their investment decisions in the first half of 2012, more responded no (42%) than yes (40%).

Survey results also reflected the conventional wisdom that a Republican administration would be more favorable to investments than a Democratic administration. If six months from now President Obama is expected to be reelected, 10% said they would be more bullish and 48% said they would be more bearish. If at that time a Republican appears likely to win the presidency, 41% of those surveyed said they would be more bullish, and 11% said they would be more bearish.

"Investors are looking at a number of factors in addition to political uncertainty when making decisions today," said Salomon Sredni, President and CEO, TradeStation Group, Inc. "They're taking careful stock of their investments because of the uncertainty, not just in the U.S. but globally. We provide our customers with sophisticated analysis techniques to unearth opportunities in these volatile markets."

The report uses the Diffusion Index (*DI) to assess investor sentiment.

(*DI = Percent of positive responses – Percent of negative responses)

Other findings from the survey are summarized below. Please refer to the full report for complete results here.

Japanese investor expectations of Japanese, U.S. and Hong Kong stocks have declined over the last month, while their expectations for Chinese stocks have improved.

  • Expectations for Japanese stocks declined by 20 points from a DI of 20 points to 0 points.
  • Expectations for U.S. stocks also declined, from -5 points to -15 points.
  • Chinese stocks DI improved from -23 points to -7 points, an improvement of 16 points.

U.S. investor expectations for global markets are negative, but have improved since June, while expectations of both Japanese and Hong Kong investors have declined.*3

  • U.S. retail investor DI for global markets improved 8 points from -35 to -27.
  • Japanese retail investor DI declined 35 points from 8 points to -27 points.*4
  • Hong Kong retail investor DI also declined, down 34 points from -4 points to -38 points.

The majority of retail investors surveyed held a pessimistic view of the outlook for global stock markets. The DI for overall global stock markets was significantly negative for Japanese, U.S. and Hong Kong investors. Compared to the previous survey (June 2011), the DI worsened for Japan and Hong Kong by the same degree (about 35 points); but for the U.S., the value, although negative, improved. Even though there is no change to the fact that the investment environment is not good and investors have a negative outlook for the future, the sharp falls in the stock markets might be seen as meaning that there could be a limit to further lows in the DI.

*3. 3-month outlook of Japanese investors for U.S. stocks, 3-month outlook of U.S. and Hong Kong investors for global stock markets.

*4. Previous figure for Japanese investors was the outlook for U.S. stocks.

Participation in the gold market varied by market, with the majority of Japanese investors reporting that they have not and do not intent to make gold related investments.

  • Japanese retail investors: More than three-quarters (76%) responded that they had not and did not intend to purchase any.
  • US retail investors: 54% responded that they had purchased some or were considering purchasing some.
  • Hong Kong retail investors: 68% responded that they had purchased some or were considering purchasing some.

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., TradeStation Forex, 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, options, 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 (now Monex 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 TradeStation Forex, Inc. offers the TradeStation analysis and trading platform to the active trader and certain institutional trader markets. The TradeStation platform offers state-of-the-art 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. TradeStation Forex, 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 TradeStation Forex, 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, easy, fast 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.

Monex, Inc.
Yuko Machida
+81-3-6212-3800

TradeStation Securities
Loren Lopez
+1 (954) 652-7011

Monex Boom Securities (HK) Limited
Grace Chow
+852-22558880