Retail Investors See Volatility Through 2010 And Are Mixed On The Market Outlook (SPY)

Approximately 90% See Market Volatility at or Above Current Level; Nearly Half See S&P Drop With Over One-Third Seeing a Slight Increase; 61% See Trading Options as Best Strategy.

The vast majority of retail investors (90%) are seeing market volatility at or above its current level over the next three months, according to a survey by optionsXpress (Nasdaq:OXPS), an innovator in bringing professional quality options and futures trading technology to everyday investors. Respondents remain divided on the 2010 market outlook, as half believe the S&P 500 will trade at or below its current level, and more than 60 percent believe trading options is the best way to profit from the index over the next six months.

“In light of the volatility retail investors are expecting, it’s important to re-visit strategies and consider expanding portfolios beyond equities. Building options and futures into an overall investment strategy can be a great way to hedge against risk in an unpredictable market and attempt to draw revenue from a market where equities simply don’t appear to be generating returns,” said David Fisher, CEO of optionsXpress. “With optionsXpress, traders have access to the latest educational resources and cutting-edge technologies to help them execute more successful, diversified strategies that balance equities, options, and futures contracts.”

When asked where they see volatility in three months, 10% of optionsXpress traders responded lower, 40% responded current level, and 50% responded higher.

When asked what range they expected the S&P 500 to trade in 2010, 20% responded above 1250, 34% responded 1150 – 1250, 19% responded 1050 – 1150, and 27% responded below 1050.

When asked what they think is the best way to profit from the S&P 500 over the next six months, 61% said they would use options and 10% would use S&P E-mini futures, while 12% responded they would buy and hold index funds, 10% would trade S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY), and 7% responded the S&P 500 won’t have gains during the next six months.  

David Fisher also said, “To become better traders, investors should consider a broker with outstanding technology, customer service and the information they need to help execute a variety of proven trading strategies. We offer this to our customers through innovative developments such as Xtend – a powerful and easy-to-use downloadable trading software application for active traders, and IDEAS – a one-button approach to analyzing positions with the entire suite of optionsXpress tools to identify potential opportunities. These innovations, plus our award-winning online trading platform and mobile application that run on nearly all mobile devices, allow optionsXpress clients to trade when and where they want.”

The survey about volatility and the S&P ranges polled 429 retail investors from March 24 – 25, while the survey about profiting from the S&P 500 polled 444 retail investors from April 20 – 21. Both were conducted by optionsXpress as part of a series to assess investor sentiment.

About optionsXpress Holdings, Inc.

optionsXpress Holdings, Inc., a pioneer in equity options and futures trading, offers an innovative suite of online brokerage services for investor education, strategy evaluation and trade execution. optionsXpress Holdings subsidiaries include optionsXpress, Inc., a retail online brokerage specializing in options and futures, brokersXpress, LLC, an online trading and reporting platform for independent investment professionals, Open E Cry, LLC, an innovative futures broker offering direct access futures trading for high volume traders through its proprietary software platform, and Optionetics, Inc, a leading provider of investment education services, including live seminars, proprietary software analytics, online and offline educational products and individual coaching. For more information:

The optionsXpress Holdings, Inc. logo is available at

Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Please read “Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options” or available by calling 1-888-280-8020. 

Futures involve substantial risk and are not appropriate for all investors. Please read “Risk Disclosure Statement for Futures and Options” prior to applying for an account.

Online trading has inherent risk due to system response and access times that may vary due to market conditions, system performance, volume and other factors. An investor should understand these and additional risks before trading. Products and services intended for U.S. customers and may not be available or offered in other jurisdictions.

Copyright (C) 2010 optionsXpress, Inc. All rights reserved. Member FINRA, SIPC, CBOE, ISE, NFA, NASDAQ options, NASDAQ OMXPHLX, NYSE ARCA, NYSE AMEX options, and NYSE ARCA options.

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