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  • Mt Cook Financial

    Hey Guys,

    I've started a fresh thread for Mt Cook Financial (MCF) to give a bit more clarity on why I trade so much of my own capital there and continue to recommend them, despite their boutique offshore status. I didn't want this key information to be lost in the middle of the old thread because we've got a specific collaboration in mind for later in the year and this information will likely be critical for you guys.

    Will and I have known Jake and Gavin from Mt Cook for several years now. I even stayed with Jake's family while I was in Canada in 2014 and both of them attended the Viper conference in Las Vegas last year.

    Jake is a pioneer of retail forex managed accounts, Gavin founded the ASLAN group (the rebate provider from Donna Forex). What's interesting is that they're actually indirect competitors or ours in many respects, but we continue to do a lot of business with them primarily because we trust and understand how they operate.

    Gavin, I'll throw the floor over to you here, but let me start off by asking a couple of questions that will likely come up:
    1. Why are you regulated in South Africa?
    2. Why do you have a $20k minimum deposit?
    3. Are there any capital protections in place?
    4. Why did you guys decide to start a brokerage?
    5. How many staff do you have at MCF?
    6. How can potential new, or existing clients get in touch with you?
    Click here to check out the most popular forex channel on YouTube

  • #2
    Thanks for the introduction Nick.

    Please excuse the length of this initial post (I promise I won't always be so long-winded ) however we recognize each trader's broker decision is an important one. I want to share a bit of our story and provide as much insight as possible into our operations and more importantly the ethos that underlies Mt.Cook Financial.

    I first started trading FX in 2002 and as Nick mentioned I founded a company called The Aslan Group (along with my father and my brother) that was one of the pioneers of the cashback rebate industry. We opened shop in 2008 and over the years have had privilege of working with thousands of clients.

    Our philosophies have always been very counter-culture, especially for this industry, as we never sought to measure success by growth. We focused instead on building goodwill through meaningful relationships and dedicated service at the client level.

    It wasn't a fast process, but over time The Aslan Group grew into a strong and trusted brand. Despite never marketing (we didn't even have a website lol) our approach resonated with traders who were tired of gimmicks and were looking for something substantive.

    In late 2013, I was approached to consult on a broker start-up and that role quickly evolved into something more hands-on. I was able to help set the broker's mandate; to help steer the ship, using the same core values that guided Aslan and was given full oversight in terms of operations.

    It probably goes without saying, that the broker was Mt.Cook Financial.

    By design, the path for Mt.Cook has been very similar to what we implemented with Aslan. The owners also have vast experience in the FX industry and we started out by working with a very close circle of clients from our personal networks. We didn't advertise Mt.Cook and actually took measures to narrow our prospective client base; we all understood the virtues of growing slowly and earning trust through actions.

    If this was Aesop's fable, we'd be the tortoise

    At the foundation of Mt.Cook is the principle that our goals and the goals of our clients must be aligned; this made for an easy decision when it came to choosing our execution model. We were well aware that a "B-book" model is by far the most profitable for a broker however we didn't ever want to be in a position where we're everhttp://mtcookfinancial.com/2016/01/2...rs-made-money/).

    Several years ago, I had the opportunity to take part in one of the very first binary options white labels. It was clear that the profit potential was incredible however, they wanted to leverage the strength of the Aslan brand; my job would be to entice clients into binary options (bonuses, big returns etc). The odds here are stacked so heavily against the clients that eventually the law of averages will transition the capital from most trading accounts to the broker's coffers.

    It was a classic cycle/rinse/repeat scenario.

    In hindsight my decision to turn them down wasn't a smart financial move but morally, this was not how I wanted to earn a living.

    This is precisely why I was so excited to work with Mt.Cook, implementing a model that welcomed profitable trading, and alongside a management team that embraced the values we used to build Aslan.

    Regulation:

    I don't know if everyone's father is like this, but mine is full of metaphorical idioms lol. In addition to being my Dad he has been my business partner for the last 15 years so I've gotten to hear a lot of them which we now affectionately refer to as "Kevinisms" lol

    Kevinism #1 - "If there's an elephant in the room, you may as well introduce it"herenot.

    We are not ones to put resources towards building a glossy exterior. Instead we direct our focus and capital towards improving liquidity, execution, and providing an optimal trading environment and experience for our clients. Our mandate is simple. Every advantage afforded to us through our structure flows uphill and is passed on to our clients and partners.

    What we are

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Gavin,

      Who is providing prime broker services for Mt. Cook?

      Thanks.

      Comment


      • #4
        Feed Related Questions

        1.) http://mtcookfinancial.com/stp-dma/

        2.) Who are your Liquidity Providers?Who are your Prime Banks?What is a DMA feed?How does this differ from an ECN, or a Market Maker?ECNs:Market Makers:DMA: *Generally speaking again, DMA is what we refer to as the raw, real, market. Its not "pre-packaged". Its directly sourced and negotiated liquidity streams, which then get both aggregated AND bridged (at once, same place in our case) -> in to MT4 (or elsewhere). The liquidity nodes in our feed are aggregated using xCore, which is a smart order routing and pricing engine.

        Filtering, and processing capabilities are minimal in comparison to most ECNs. Trade execution is instantaneous, and immediate with no last look to price makers, so all trades are final and confirmed as soon as they are dealt. Liquidity is customizable, and the quotes stream in an anonymous, neutral trading environment.

        Others and Hybrids: As if this is not confusing enough, it can get even more complex, as there are some brokers who are so big that they are their own ECN AND Market Maker AND have DMA fees, AND house various private pools and hybrids. They can aggregate different streams of their OWN book (create different DMA aggregates, ECN pools, off-makret pools, and b-books etc...). This essentially means that some of them have the ability do whatever they want with your trading flow (in terms of how its directed).

        6.) What are the negatives of a DMA feed?quite literallyWhich model is best for me?

        This is really a personal preference. In our opinion all of these have their place in the market as well as their advocates and detractors. Our DMA feed has very competitive spreads, in particular on the currency crosses. It is generally designed for depth, and large ticket trading in the real market, requiring good per tier liquidity on fills and exits (this is the primary purpose of our feed).

        ECNs and market makers are generally known as being ideal for small ticket sensitive trading styles where quotes are smooth and uniform. For most however, the difference will be negligible. However it is important to understand that even so, they ARE different, especially when comparing execution from one broker to another.

        8.) Who bridges your liquidity to MT4?

        Our feed is bridged with the PXM Bridge and xCore is used as the price engine aggregator and SOR.

        9.) Where are your servers located?

        Equinix LD4 (London, United Kingdom).

        10.) Is there a delay in your market watch time?

        No. This is again specific to our feed. Our market watch time only updates / changes if there is a.) a new rate, and b.) if that rate is different from the last.

        11.) Do you accept American Clients?
        MT.COOK
        Junior Member
        Last edited by MT.COOK; 04-18-2016, 10:37 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello,

          Is possible to get commision like Nick 2.84 per lot?

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey guys,

            I just sent Gavin a querie about their reduction in leverage as we head into Brexit. The explanation was so thorough I felt the need to share it here:

            ~~~~


            Hey Nick,

            The leverage essentially determines how much margin you need to put up in order to open/hold your positions.

            So currently your account is at 300:1 and you have 14.04 lots open which is using $6,263.08 as margin.

            If your margin is reduced to 50:1 it means that you will require 6 time MORE margin to hold these same positions.

            So at 50:1 you would be using $37,578.48 of your capital as margin and you would have around $145,400 in "free margin" based on equity of $183,000 in your account.

            Suppose you were at 50:1 and you doubled all your open positions (so you'd have 28.08 lots open), it means that your "Margin" would be $75,156.96 and you'd have approximately $108,000 left in "Free Margin".

            Think of Free Margin as your "cushion".

            If your equity ever gets to 60% of your "Margin" amount then your positions will begin closing (this is called the "stop out level")

            So for example:

            As stated above, based on your current open positions and 50:1 leverage, your "Margin" would be $37,578.48.

            Your equity would need to get to 60% of that figure, $22,547.09 ($37,578.48 x 60%) before your trades would "stop out".

            Based on your current equity of around $183,000 that would require a drop of around $160k before your positions would be forced to close.

            Now if you open more positions then that margin amount increases and your "free margin" (ie. your cushion) shrinks accordingly.

            So even at 50:1 you would still have PLENTY of cushion as long as you don't significantly increase your open positions.

            The risk to us on the broker side is that people load up on their positions (using all available leverage) and even though they technically "stop out" when they hit 60% of Margin, it's possible for the price to gap right through the stop out level and leave the accounts in a deficit position which we owe to our LPs (regardless of whether we're able to collect from the client or not.)

            Although it's not fair to directly compare Brexit to the SNB event (which gapped over 2000 pips in some pairs!), even a 100 pip gap could could result in big losses for brokers with fully leveraged client accounts.

            What some people will do is open an account at Broker A and short sterling while opening another account at Broker B and go long sterling.

            If a broker offers 400:1 and doesn't reduce their leverage then he could technically open 40 lots with only a $10k account. If the price gapped 100 pips short, then his equity on broker A will be $50k and his equity on Broker B will be -$30k.

            Broker B can try to collect the deficit balance (Good luck!) meanwhile he withdraws the $50k from Broker A and is $30k ahead.

            ,This is what we have to protect against and the reason why the leverage is being lowered.

            Sorry for the novel but hope the explanation helps. Just hopping on a call here but will be on later if you need me to expound on anything.

            Cheers!


            ~~~~~~

            It's this standard of service that I keep banging on about with you guys here and why I've got so much of my own money invested.


            Click here to check out the most popular forex channel on YouTube

            Comment


            • #7
              That is a very good explanatory email. Shows good customer service values.

              Comment


              • #8
                Can we open fix api account with $5k?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HedgeBitcoin View Post
                  Can we open fix api account with $5k?
                  Hi Hedge Bitcoin. On our ECN feed, you can open a FIX API with $5K min. On the DMA feed, this is $100k min.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    New ECN Feed and New Hybrid PAM


                    We have been working on providing a solution (and alternative) that addresses some of these issues without impacting the positive attributes of the DMA feed that our clients have come to expect; the result is a brand new ECN feed! Spreads are tight, quotes are smooth and steady stream, and execution remains exceptional.

                    ---------------


                    The ECN platform itself, quite literally, lives in a dedicated facility at Equinix NY4 in Secaucus New York, where it directly aggregates Tier 1 liquidity from major money center banks and venues in addition to non-traditional sources (different from our DMA feed).

                    New PAM Module (with some amazing benefits)!


                    The new ECN platform has been customized with a new style of PAM software that we believe will transform the way investors participate in managed accounts, for the better!

                    The new PAM module operates almost like a cross between a PAM and a Trade Copier Signal, but without any latency, slippage or complexity often found with signals and trade copying. The client-accounts remain independent, yet all orders go through to the market as one single block; it offers the best of both worlds!
                    There are several beneficial features versus our traditional DMA MT4 PAM/MAM model:


                    1.) MULTI-CURRENCY:2.) RISK PROTECTION:

                    Clients now have their own built-in risk protection tool, whereby every client can set a max equity stop loss specific to their own account.

                    For example:3.) RISK MULTIPLIERS:


                    New Client Portal


                    Access to the ECN is also available through a brand new Client Portal which syncs directly with our ECN, and where you can also access the PAM controls mentioned above. It is provided by a 3rd party, so it may look familiar to some of you who trade at other brokers (though ours has been customized). For the most part however, it is very easy to use and understand and navigate through. In addition to the risk controls mentioned above, clients can open new accounts, view account data, and move money around at will.


                    Accessing your account on the New PAM


                    As mentioned above, you can now access your account and controls in the new ECN Client Portal. Many of you in the Think Huge PAMs have already been moved over to the new ECN PAM module. Some of you have inquired where your MT4 balance has went? The ECN platform is an institutional clearing platform, and as such, your account is synced directly in to the ECN. All of your controls and viewing of trades (both open/floating and historical/closed trades) and account management functions are accessed online (and in much more detail than on MT4).

                    You, as an investor, will no longer be required to install and run the antiquated MT4 trading application anymore as a means to monitor your account. You can now access your account from a convenient web-based login from anywhere with internet access.

                    We generally recommend that the manager setup a myfxbook for the master account (which will match investor trades exactly with the default risk multiplier) so that this is available for those who wish to view performance via the myfxbook application.


                    One final note on the use of PAM "Multipliers"


                    lower on your own, down to as low as 0.1x and there are no restrictions or precautions on lowering your risk.

                    Lastly, although the new ECN/PAM is considered far superior technology than our previous PAM (which we had built from scratch and considered it be pretty good at the time) we should add that everything is still intact, and available on the old system (our original DMA feed, and our old MT4 PAM system). We do believe however that the ECN is a huge upgrade to managers, investors, and self-directed traders alike.

                    I hope that this helps to explain some of our recent developments and addressed some of the recent questions. We have been very busy with the migration of many client accounts from DMA to ECN so please accept our sincere apologies for any delays in response times over the last week, however everything should be all caught up by now, and fully firing on all cylinders.

                    We remain here to help the forex signals community succeed in any way we can, and I wish you all the best of luck in your trading and investment endeavors!

                    Warm Regards,
                    Gavin Gray.
                    MT.COOK
                    Junior Member
                    Last edited by MT.COOK; 11-07-2016, 07:18 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Is there an alternative platform for the master account operating under the PAMM? If not, can the master account trade via api to take advantage of the true ECn environment?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HedgeBitcoin View Post
                        Is there an alternative platform for the master account operating under the PAMM? If not, can the master account trade via api to take advantage of the true ECn environment?
                        Hello HedgeBitcoin. Yes this is correct, the master can trade via an API, to completely remove any requirement and inefficiencies with MT4 altogether.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is the maximum leverage offered by Mt.cook 1:300? Or is it possible to get 1:400 or 1:500?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            HI Isochronous. We can be flexible on this, but it is based on what you are doing, and the size of your account. Generally we like to keep low leverage on our books, but drop us a note at partners@mtcookfinancial.com and let us now a bit more, and assuming the account is not so large, we can likely extend it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Looking on the MTCook website it appears they now have ASIC regulation: ACN 617 836 558). "

                              Can all Forexsignals MAMs now be offered through MTCook Australia route so as they are covered under this regulation? Will there be more funding/withdrawal options now to avoid fees which most of the other brokers offer?

                              Cheers
                              Chubby

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