ECN Trading Accounts
Mt.Cook’s ECN trading accounts provide access to a custom “POOL” of deep, diversified liquidity, where traders can trade a variety of digital instruments, on a secure platform, and in a regulated environment. This is trading at its finest!
At Mt.Cook everyone receives the same raw (inter-bank), institutional trading conditions. The main differences between our mountainous ECN accounts are the tiered, transparent, transactional commissions which are ALWAYS quoted outside of our spreads. Our business model is volume based, and simply put we never want to profit from unearned fees, hidden costs, widened spreads, or confusion.
* Pricing is notional (USD), and per standard ROUND TURN lot (inclusive of both sides) – which is $100,000 USD in contract size. For example – the Mt.Cook ECN Account pricing of $7.50 USD per standard round turn lot, is the same as $37.5 USD per million, per side (or 0.00375% notional). Spreads are always raw, inter-bank priced, and the same for all ECN clients across all accounts.
* Minimum deposit values are in USD, or the USD equivalent in EUR, GBP, AUD or ZAR.
* Note: Volume-based commission discounts are also available for traders who cannot fund the required account minimums above. Mt. Kilimanjaro accounts are available to active traders trading between 250-1000 standard round turn lots/month in volume. Mt. Everest accounts are available to traders placing > 1000 standard round turn lots/month in volume, irrespective of account balance.
ECN Trading Conditions
Common To All ECN Accounts.
Intelligent by Design
Our ECN is powered by a unique 'Smart Order Routing Algorithm' (SoRa) that both rewards and punishes liquidity sources, not only for the most competitive pricing, but also based on the “quality” and “integrity” of the quotes received (i.e., speed, fill rate etc..). It also has the ability to find pockets of deep, hidden liquidity within its network, enabling traders to improve pricing on large orders. Benefits include...
- Smart Order Routing
- Rapid Order Execution
- Includes non-traditional LPs
- No conflicts of interest
- Integrated back office
- Low rejection rates
Important ECN Questions
These are the 'must know' ECN FAQs
1. Is an ECN trading account for me?
This is our most popular and “flagship” trading account at Mt.Cook and it is preferred by all types of traders wishing to trade on professional-grade liquidity source, offering fair and transparent, EFFICIENT trading, with low fees, in a regulated environment. Short answer – YES!
2. What kind of accounts can I open to trade on an ECN account?
At Mt.Cook we accept personal/individual accounts, joint accounts, corporate accounts, trust accounts, foundations, and various forms of pension accounts.
Have a Special Purpose Entity you wish to trade through different from our supported applications? Contact us (flexibility is our middle name), and our compliance team can work with you through account approval.
3. Where is your ECN trade engine and server located?
The ECN trading engine itself, quite literally lives in a dedicated low-latency 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.
4. Why are fees different on different currency pairs?
Our pricing tiers are fixed, and are based on USD currency, and are “notionally priced”.
Our Mt.Cook Account pricing is $37.5 USD, per million, per side (or 0.00375% notional). This is the same as $7.50 USD, per standard round turn lot. This is for all USD based pairs (i.e., USD/xxx pairs).
Because this is notional ECN pricing (i.e., institutional pricing and the same way banks quote prices), it means that all other pairs (i.e., EUR/xxx, GBP/xxx, CHF/xxx, CAD/xxx, NZD/xxx, AUD/xxx) are calculated by multiplying the $7.50 x each other pair’s exchange rate with USD.
So some pairs may actually work out to be a bit more than $7.50 USD per standard round turn lot. While other pairs work out to be a bit cheaper than this. While all USD/XXX pairs are exactly $7.50 USD per standard round turn lot.
5. What's the difference between your ECN and DMA accounts?
Our ECN accounts are our flagship and default accounts, preferred by the vast majority of all of our traders.
Our DMA accounts are a secondary option for our clients looking for fill diversification and split testing, and are built upon a completely separate liquidity infrastructure, and have a completely separate set of technology providers. This is like a completely separate brokerage available to traders (2 for 1), yet under the same roof.
Generally speaking most of our clients are here for our ECN accounts. Those with special requirements often open additional accounts for diversification on our DMA feed. Here are a few major differences…
- Tightest Spreads
- Fastest Execution
- Integrated ECN Back-office
- NYC (Equinix NY4) server low-latency colocation
- Great for all traders and styles, especially for scalping, HFTs, quants, fast and agile traders, and those who trade lots of cross pairs etc…
- Wider Spreads (but more market depth)
- Great CFD lineup
- Slightly cheaper swaps
- London (Equinix LD4) server low-latency colocation
- Great for traders who care less about spreads and need lots of market depth, cheaper swaps, and a larger CFD offering.
6. How can I download your Metrader4 ECN trading platform?
Download links will be provided to you upon account approval. However you can also download these at any time from our Metatrader4 page here (including the Windows desktop trading terminal, and MT4 mobile apps as well).
7. Do you profit from my losses?
We do not run a b-book (and are not permitted to under our current license). All of our clearing falls under the “agency only” model, and trades are passed through directly to liquidity partners and ODPs. Thus, Mt.Cook’s ONLY form of compensation is via transactional fees (i.e., round turn commissions).
Although we understand why some brokers choose to run b-books (they are required in the industry), we as a team, ethically do not like to be in a position to profit from our client’s losses. Instead, we try to focus our efforts on servicing aspiring traders who are striving to be profitable over the long-term. We have built our business around this model, and this ensures our interests are always aligned with our clients.
8. Will I encounter slippage on the ECN?
Yes. Although rare, it does happen.
DISCUSSION: Both our ECN and DMA trading streams reflect the “real market”, and because our feeds are not “synthetic” and we do not b-book our clients, sometimes trades are prone to slippage like any other. If a brokerage tells you they have no slippage, they are either running a synthetic feed (i.e., b-booking you with no real market fill) or they are simply not being honest. The more sensitive the trading style is, the higher chance of encountering slippage.
When orders are sent out to be filled by a liquidity provider or bank, they are filled at the best available price whether the fill price is above or below the price requested. In reality, this is a normal market phenomenon, and is due to the spot market being decentralized and often having a huge imbalance of buyers and sellers.
Although rare, slippage can work both in a traders favor, or against them if it occurs (positive or negative slippage). Certain times and market events are more prone to this occurrence than others such as high volatility news releases and rollover. We have two different liquidity streams for our traders to choose from which both mitigate against slippage as much as possible and in very different ways. Mt.Cook does not control for, or provide any guarantees against slippage (either positive or negative). Again this is a normal market phenomenon that we must all plan for and contend with when trading in the real (live) spot market.
9. How come I cannot see all the instruments I would like to trade?
To ensure you are seeing all the tradeable symbols and instruments associated with your account type, you may need to load all market symbols in to your trading terminal, as various versions of Metatrader4 do not always load them all by default.
You can do this by selecting ANY trading symbol in the market watch window, then right click it, and select “Show All”. This will load all the symbols for you, as shown below.
10. Which MT4 symbol sets/extensions should I trade on?
For live ECN clients, the MT4 symbols you will trade on will not have any extension after the instrument name (example: EURUSD and XAUUSD etc etc…).
*NOTE: As per the FAQ above, to ensure you are seeing all the tradeable symbols/instruments associated with your account, it is important that you load all market symbols in to your terminal, as Metatrader4 does not always load them all in by default. You can do this by selecting any symbol in the market watch window, then right click, and select “Show All”. This will load all the symbols for you, as shown below..
11. Can I trade "sensitive strategies" here?
DISCUSSION: Generally speaking, sensitive trading strategies are those that are considered highly sensitive to price and execution and market volatility, and may include news trading, hyper-scalping, and tick scalping but also hostile algo strats such as various types of arbitrage strategies and/or inter-spread exploitatives.
While we feel we have an excellent trading environment, and welcome any kind of trading strategy that is not exploitative, or considered “toxic flow” by our liquidity partners, it may be that sensitive trading strategies may not perform optimally here and it is widely recognized that they are becoming tougher to execute these days on real market data and bank-based liquidity as many loop holes for market exploitation get closed down by banks. It may be that they perform better on synthetic feeds, non-bank liquidity, or at risk-internalized brokerages (i.e., b-book bucketshops).
As an STP brokerage, we want our clients to be as profitable as possible and simply maintain a neutral position (intermediary) in trade execution and profit by having traders stay profitable and trade volume. However we need to ensure that we present a fair playing ground and as such that we maintain integrity with our liquidity partners as well. These relationships are very important for us in order to maintain competitive pricing for our clients.
As a protection measure, many of our LPs, price engine aggregators and bridges, utilize AI algorithms to detect predatory/toxic/exploitative strategies or those looking to trade within the spread, and it may be that our Liquidity Partners ask us to close these trading account if they are detected and flagged as toxic.
This RARELY occurs, but it can occasionally happen on strategies calculated to have an aggressive YIELD DECAY which end up getting flagged. If this happens, we must honor their request. Please understand that this has nothing to do with our LPs not wanting traders to succeed. This about them detecting predatory strategies looking to take advantage of decentralized market inefficiencies, as apposed to fair trading practices.
Separate to this, and as a general rule, the more sensitive your trading strategy is, the greater chance it may encounter execution variances and discrepancies from one feed to another, and it very well may be better off executing on different types of data feeds or other shops. The only way to know this is of course to test it and compare. Unfortunately we cannot offer any type of guarantee as to the success of highly sensitive trading strategies and clients must be aware of this prior to deploying them.
12. Why do I have a mismatch between MT4 and the ECN Backoffice?
Sometimes your Metatrader4 account will not match your ECN back office exactly due to a number of different reasons (aggregated swaps, portfolio execution, booking at rollover and re-opening on the ECN), however usually this value is not far off. We have a script that we run periodically to sync the two platforms, and in some cases a manual sync is required.
However, please note that the trades and values, fix logs, and time/sales values in the ECN are always accurate and reflect true market settlements and take precedence over MT4. On our ECN, MT4 is simply a GUI connected to our ECN trade engine via a custom integrated bridge. Thus the ECN back office always reflects the true and accurate value of your account and positions.
13. What MT4 server should I connect to for my ECN account?
ECN Clients should connect to the following servers:
- Live Accounts: AtlanticPearl-Live 1
- Demo Accounts: AtlanticPearl-Demo
14. How do I log in to MT4 from my smartphone or my tablet?
1.) You first need to download and install the mobile app. You can download the iOS app for iPhones and iPads here and for Android smartphones and tablets here.
2.) Once installed you must “Login to an Existing Account”, and search for the broker’s server to connect to.
ECN Clients should search for, and connect to the following servers:
- Live Accounts: AtlanticPearl-Live 1
- Demo Accounts: AtlanticPearl-Demo
3.) After selecting your server, you will be prompted to enter your login (account number) and password. These are provided to you once your account has been approved by compliance. After entering these, click “Sign In” and this should connect you to your mobile trading account.
15. Are stop losses and take profits gauranteed?
Unfortunately not. These orders cannot be guaranteed to fill at your specified price on an ECN. As per the slippage FAQ, these types of orders are sent as market orders, and thus depending on market volatility, it is possible to incur positive or negative slippage on these orders.
16. Are margin liquidation levels gauranteed?
Unfortunately not. If your margin reaches the liquidation level, the software will begin to liquidate the position that has the highest losing amount. However please note that holding positions (especially large positions) or exposure on smaller balances in particular, can cause the % liquidation value to fluctuate rapidly, especially during fast moving markets.
17. What is MTMPL that I see on my account on the rollover?
MTMPL stands for Market To Market Profit/Loss. Mark to Market is a method of measuring the fair value of accounts that fluctuate in time. It aims to provide a realistic appraisal of an insitution or company’s current financial situation based on current market conditions. This method is mostly used on institutional platforms, and it helps to show the current value of the assets. In case of FX trading, this only occurs on non x/USD trades that are held over the rollover. It happens because such trade is closed on the rollover, and then reopened right after, at the same price. While x/USD pairs have a fixed pip value, the prices of USD/x pairs’ pip values fluctuate with the exchange rates.
Here is an example on a long 1 lot USDCAD trade; The trade trade was opened on Day 1 at price 1.2188, and closed on Day 2 at price 1.2344. This means a 156 pip profit. The pip price on the retail platform is calculated only once, which is on the close price, therefore the pip price was 8.10 USD/pip, and total profit 1,263.60 USD.
The Institutional platform is a little more complex, as it adds another step to the calculation. The pip value is calculated on every rollover. In this case the trade was held only through one rollover, which means the trade was subject to Market To Market calculation only once, while this made the trade consist of two parts, P/L on Day 1, and P/L on Day 2.
The trade opened on Day 1 at price 1.2188 (same as on the retail platform). In the backoffice that trade got automatically closed and reopened at the rollover price 1.2272. On Day 2 it automatically opened at the same price as it closed before (1.2272). Then that trade got finally closed on Day 2 at the price 1.2344. This part was again the same as on the retail platform.
This automatic close and reopen on the rollover changed the pip value. On Day 1 the pip value was determined by the rollover close price (1.2272), and on Day 2 it was determined by the actual close price (1.2344).
To break down this trade, it made 84 pips on pip value 8.15 USD/pip, and 72 pips on 8.10 USD/pip. The P/L on the retail model only considered one pip value for the whole 156 pips, where total P/L was 1,263.60 USD. The institutional model that considered the change in pip value made 1,267.80 USD profit. The difference is 4.20 USD, which in this case would be credited to the MT4 trading account as MTMPL.
Application Time: 4 MINUTES!
After submitting your app, our friendly compliance team will have your account approved in very short order. Have an account elsewhere? WANT TO TRANSFER YOUR ACCOUNT TO US? We don't blame you, and WE PAY THE FEES!