A 20-year-old college student took his own life after seeing a massive debt in his account on a stock trading app.
Alexander E. Kearns, a University of Nebraska student, passed away after throwing himself in front of a train in Illinois.
His heartbreaking suicide note was shared online by Bill Brewster, his cousin-in-law.
The note reads: “If you’re reading this then I am dead. See the image “Suicide 2” for why, I suppose.
“How was a 20 year old with no income able to get assigned almost a million dollar’s worth of leverage? The puts I bought/sold should have cancelled out, too, but I also have no clue what I was doing now in hindsight. There was no intention to be assigned this much and take this much risk.
“I only thought that I was risking the money that I actually owned. If you check the app, the margin investing option isn’t even “turned on” for me.
“A painful lesson. F**k Robinhood.”
Kearns’ family said that he had just started trading during the pandemic and was so delighted as he learned more about the markets and trading techniques.
In an interview with Forbes, Brewster said: “When he saw that $730,000 number as a negative, he thought that he had blown up his entire future. I mean this is a kid that when he was younger was so conscious about savings.”
He added: “Tragically, I don’t even think he made that big of a mistake. This is an interface issue, they have slick interfaces. Confetti popping everywhere.
“They try to gamify trading and couch it as investment.”
Robinhood told Forbes: “All of us at Robinhood are deeply saddened to hear this terrible news and we reached out to share our condolences with the family over the weekend.”
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