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20-year-old Robinhood trader commits suicide after app shows $730,000 negative balance

In a note found by the family, Alexander Kearns had expressed anger towards Robinhood.

June 18, 2020 / 01:28 PM IST

A 20-year-old customer of retail investment platform Robinhood died by suicide on June 12 after seeing a negative balance of $730,165.

Alexander Kearns, a student at the University of Nebraska in the US, was living with his parents in Naperville, Illinois when he passed away, Forbes reported.

In a note found by the family, Kearns wondered how he had been allowed to get such a huge leverage.

“How was a 20-year-old with no income able to get assigned almost a million dollars worth of leverage?” the note said.

Kearns also said he had not enabled the margin investing option on the app.

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"When he saw that $730,000 number as a negative, he thought that he had blown up his entire future," Bill Brewster, Kearns' cousin-in-law and a research analyst at Sullimar Capital Group 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," Robinhood said, as quoted by Forbes.

Robinhood has not shared Kearns' account details due to privacy concerns.

A tweet by Brewster on Twitter confirms that the company reached out. The tweet included a screenshot of the Robinhood app from Kearns' phone, which showed the massive negative balance

Robinhood is a commission-free trading app which is gaining popularity among millennial investors. Robinhood added three million new accounts to its platform in the first quarter of 2020.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 18, 2020 01:28 pm

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