New York Magazine’s $72m teenage stock trader Mohammed Islam says he made it all up

Mohammed Islam, 16, wants you to think he’s a big shot. On its website, Financial Ettaz, he wears a pair of fogged up glasses, serious expression, sporting a red tie on a snowy day. The New York high school student says he became interested in the financial industry “at the tender age of eight”, quickly fell into the third-rate world of penny stocks before graduating to the market at term after finding “a love for risk and volatility”. “. How much did he earn? Millions, he said. His net worth has soared into the “high eight figures”.

The world is full of teenagers like Mo Islam, who now says he has never made a penny on the stock market. They play fast and loose with facts. But they don’t usually get the treatment Islam just got on Sunday. publish of New York magazine.

Damir Tulemaganbetov, left, with his friend Mohammed Islam at the office of the public relations company 5WPR.Credit:5WPR

The article, reported and written by editor Jessica Pressler, begins with a rumor. Someone – it’s unclear who – said Mo pocketed $72 million ($87.6 million) trading penny stocks. “An incredible amount of money for anyone, no less a high schooler, but as far as the rumors go, this one seemed legit,” Pressler wrote. Original headline: “Stuyvesant senior made $72 million worth of stock on lunch break.”

Coming on the heels of rolling stoneThe disastrous story of a gang rape at the University of Virginia, while nowhere near as dire in its aftermath, the story unfolded almost as quickly as it went viral. While the New York Post, the daily mail and the Guardian made their versions, New York magazine‘s was getting pounded in his comments section: “How stupid are you [be] believe this kid made $72 million trading stocks over lunch? »

Then, on Monday afternoon, Mohammed Islam gave up a spot on CNBC, admitting that the figure of 72 million dollars was inaccurate. “The attention is not what we expected – we never wanted that hype,” he said. noted. New York magazineNevertheless, stood ready the story: “Our story paints the $72 million figure as a rumour… we did not know the exact figure he made in transactions. However, Mohammed provided bank statements showing it was worth eight figures , and he has publicly confirmed that he is worth eight figures.”

But now Mo says that was a lie too. “You seem to be quoted saying, ‘eight figures'” New York Observer editor-in-chief Ken Kurson demand Islam in an interview on Monday. “That’s not true, is it?”

“No, that’s not true,” Islam said.

“Is there any number? Have you invested and realized returns? »

“No.”

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