20-Year-Old College Student Took His Own Life After An Investing App He Used Showed A Nearly Million Dollar Negative Balance

When Alexander logged onto the app, he saw that he had somehow managed to have a negative balance of nearly a million dollars.

$730,165, to be exact.

But the app also said he had $16,176.14 in his account.

Before he sadly took his own life, Alexander left behind a note that said, “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 canceled out, too, but I also have no clue what I was doing now in hindsight.”

Twitter; Bill Brewster posted the above screenshot of Alexander’s note

“There was no intention to be assigned this much and take this much risk, and 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— Robinhood.”

Bill Brewster, who is married into Alexander’s family, took to Twitter to say, “My cousin in law was interested in investing.”

Twitter; Bill Brewster posted the above screenshot of Alexander’s account

“He opened a Robinhood account. And, he seemed to be enjoying the markets. As many of us do, or have done, he got interested in options.”

“He believed he had “no margin” selected on his account.”

Bill continued, “So, he began buying and selling options. Fast forward to sometime this past week and his account showed him owing $700k+.”

“How does a 20 year old with no income get access to that kind of leverage/exposure?!”

Twitter; Bill Brewster posted some of the tweets, above

“The emotional stress from the exposure caused him to take his own life. I don’t feel right sharing this, but I also don’t feel right keeping it from the world. Why?”

“Because recently I’ve been joking about how much I love DDTG. I’ve laughed at the Robinhood memes.”

“But here’s the truth. AND PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THIS IF YOU’RE YOUNG. The markets are bananas right now. It’s not the time for amateurs.”

“Really really pay attention to position sizing. Stay away from exotic instruments like options and futures.”

A number of people commented on Bill’s tweets, saying they thought there had to be some kind of confusion surrounding the interface of the Robinhood app.

Twitter; Bill Brewster posted the full screenshot of Alexander’s account, above

Bre is a female millennial go getter residing in New York. One part entrepreneur, one part geek, she obtained her degree in Textile/Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology.

She has held some exciting roles in both fashion as a designer working for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Henri Bendel, as well as in ad tech working for publishers like Ziff Davis.

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