The story of Alex Kearns is a tragedy.
However, he was limited by regulations in how much he could borrow.
In truth, the investing component of his death was reported to be related to the weekend tallying of his account value: RobinHood showed the debit of the stocks his options converted into before it showed the offsetting stock value.
This was terrible.
He probably was bound to lose a lot: possibly tens of thousands of dollars — as his account settled on Monday with margin requirements, but not $700k.
I’m not sticking up for RobinHood. Investing has become more focused on the instant win, the rash uneducated decision, than when I first started. Literally nobody I know still talks to a broker about a trade any more.
I’ve had my share of facepalming shame and loss due to rushing into trades on a competing online platform.
The art of a good trade for me involves knowing when I’m mindful and educated enough to take action.
Even with some rules like that in place I’ve avoided this market recently: the roller coaster ups and downs are too wild and unpredictable.
Investing is always like gambling to some extent.
It has been more so now than since the dot com boom in my recollection.
Alex Kearns suffered from a bad market, a bad way to learn trading, and a terrible user interface.
But the amount he borrowed was regulated, and he was not going to be down that amount on Monday.
RobinHood needs folks who can help answer questions over the weekend on big market swings — if these people don’t already exist.
I can see why Kearns might not have reached out to them.
It seems like he didn’t, or that he was given the wrong information if he did.