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Robinhood Updates Options Offering in Response to User’s Death

The Robinhood application Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Robinhood is changing its options offerings, including increased education, in the wake of a young customer’s suicide.

“On Saturday, we learned that Alex Kearns, a Robinhood customer, died by suicide and left a note citing confusion with our product,” Robinhood founders Vlad Tenev & Baiju Bhatt wrote in blog post on Friday June 19. “Over the past week, our team at Robinhood has been focused on identifying how we can improve Robinhood’s customer experience.”

Kearns, 20, killed himself after his Robinhood account showed a negative balance of more than $700,000, according to a series of tweets by a relative. The figure may have been temporary and would have been updated when stocks underlying his assigned options settled to his account, according to the relative. But Kearns believed it reflected how much leverage he had, according to the note, which was provided to Bloomberg by his family.

Robinhood is also making a $250,000 donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, according to the blog.


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