Monex’s robot adviser service grows, TradeStation attracts younger clients in Q1 FY19

Maria Nikolova

Monex Adviser marks investment balance of approximately JPY 1 billion eight months after launch.

Online trading services provider Monex Group, Inc. (TYO:8698) has earlier today posted its key financial and operating metrics for the first quarter of its fiscal year to March 31, 2019, providing some interesting updates on the development of its business in Japan, the United States and the Asia Pacific region.

Overall, one thing is certain – novel technologies are advancing and the profile of the broker’s client base is being reshaped as a result of this.

Monex Adviser, which was launched in October last year, has seen marked development. The investment balance is about JPY 1 billion as of June 30, 2018, compared to a balance pf about JPY 780 million at March 31, 2018. Monex Adviser is a robot adviser service where customers can determine their own investment policy and easily manage their assets with the support of professional advice.

Regarding TradeStation Group, the US subsidiary of Monex Group, new branding and simplified offerings successfully attracted casual traders/millennials and led to the expansion of the customer base in the quarter to the end of June 2018. New customers in the last 18 months are on average 4 years younger than previously, the broker notes.

Let’s also note that there is a record high percentage of smartphone app users among the active US equity traders who use the services of Japanese broker Monex, Inc – 25% in June 2018.

The US business also successfully completed proof of concept to use Facebook chatbots to drive account acquisition. It also established partnership with ClickIPO to offer access to 8 new offerings during the quarter to June 30, 2018.

Monex continues to explore business opportunities in the Asia Pacific region. Monex Securities Australia Pty Ltd started its online securities business in January 2018, making use of the system of the HK-based brokerage subsidiary in order to lighten the infrastructure and offer cost-competitive services. It now seeks to enlarge its customer base.

Regarding Monex Boom Securities (HK), the Hong Kong business of the broker, Monex said it remains in the black in terms of operating income (-64% vs 4Q FYE 2018) despite a large decrease in total operating revenue after deducting financial expenses (-21% vs 4Q FYE 2018) affected by lower market volumes.

A noteworthy development concerning Monex Boom during the relevant period is the launch of a Hong Kong Futures trading service. At the launch of the service, the company said that clients opening futures trading accounts with Monex Boom can trade a set of futures contracts on the Hong Kong Futures Exchange through its “eFutures” trading system, including: Hang Seng Index Futures; Mini-Hang Seng Index Futures; H-shares Index Futures; and Mini H-shares Index Futures.

Monex is also active in China. It provides technology and knowledge of online brokerage business through a joint venture in PRC.

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