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New York, NY (December 7, 2009) -- Who are the most active users of financial Internet forums? A survey of 1,000 participants by Firstrade Securities shows that their users of The Investor Network, an investment-oriented social networking site, are typically male and under 40. While that is not surprising, in a new development, almost 23% reside outside the United States, with Japanese investors accounting for almost 10% of the total international members.

According to John Liu, CEO of Firstrade, "Objectivity is the biggest draw of The Investor Network. It's open only to validated investors, so you know what you are seeing are the opinions of other investors who follow a particular stock or the market as a whole, not someone with an agenda. Members of The Investor Network are typically more active in their portfolios, checking the pulse of the marketplace through others like themselves. Some participate in Predict Wall Street, a special feature that lets them compete with other investors in predicting stock closing prices. An educated investor is the best customer, so a resource like The Investor Network gives the trader a candid exchange of extra insight to stay ahead of the curve."

Another fact evident from the survey is that 41% of users listed "Capital Preservation" as their primary investment objective, which may explain the popularity of The Investor Network. Liu says, "People are looking to the stock market to help them stay afloat. That makes it imperative that they receive reliable information." With only 8% of online participants naming "speculation" as their objective, caution is the name of the game. "The Investor Network lets the investor stay vigilant," says Liu.

These participants also tend to be newer to the market. 49% claimed to have limited investment experience. Many see The Investor Network as an opportunity to benefit from someone else's knowledge; a valuable resource for anyone who is just starting out.

"The face of the average investor has changed," says Liu. "Internet trading is now international. The Investor Network members log on from every continent. Though Japan accounts for the largest percentage of international traders at 9.8%, Ireland comes in second at 7.2%, followed by Taiwan at 6.7%, Malaysia at 6.2%, Italy at 5.2%, China at 3.6% and Argentina at 2.6% of the international customers. According to Liu, "young investors are becoming more knowledgeable and that's good news for the market and the economy in general."

About Firstrade
Founded in 1985, Firstrade Securities Inc. is one of the leading online trading and investment financial services firms. Firstrade combines of proprietary and innovative high speed trading technology, a user friendly platform, and offers a full line of investment products and services to self-directed investors. Firstrade offers equity trades at only $6.95 per trade and a higher standard of personal service for the value-driven trader and investor. For more information, visit www.firstrade.com

About The Investor Network
The Investor Network is Broadridge Financial Solutions' investment-oriented social networking site designed to improve communications among shareholders and between corporations and their shareholders. Its unique design allows for aggregation across large pools of validated investors thereby helping to direct specific shareholders to company-sponsored Shareholder Forums.


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