Teen Faces Extreme Backlash After Claiming He Made $72 Million Trading Stocks

[Update 12-15-14 9:05 p.m. PST] Teen Who Allegedly Made $72 Million Trading Stocks Comes Clean: ‘I Made It All Up’


Over the weekend, New York Magazine profiled 17-year-old Mohammed Islam, who is claimed to have built a $72-million net worth from casually trading stocks during lunch at school.

Islam started trading stocks when he was just 9 years old and spends most of his breaks at Stuyvesant High School, one of New York’s most elite, trading oil and gold stock. Reportedly, Islam has spent some of his wealth on a BMW — which he has no license to drive — and a Manhattan apartment, all while treating his friends to dinners that often included $400 caviar and other expensive dishes.

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According to his Linkedin profile, Islam became successful by using a combination of techniques:

“[I] followed the market, hunted for opportunities and used everything from fundamental analysis to technical analysis and price action to speculate in the markets.”

While Islam has yet to confirm his $72-million net worth, he does say that it’s in the “high eight-figures.” Since his New York Magazine profile has gone live, Islam and his team have been inundated with media outlets asking him to confirm his numbers, forcing his colleagues to release the following statement:

“It has been brought to the attention of the Leaders Investment Club that Mohammed Islam has been rumored to have made $72,000,000 through making trades in the stock market. After performing due diligence and talking with Mohammed Islam himself, we have determined that these claims are false and simply been blown up by the media in the interests of sensationalism.”

When Business Insider pressed further, Islam’s partner Damir Tulemagabetov said the following:

“We can’t just talk about the numbers. It’s not just about the money. We’re on the verge of a lot of great things in our lives so we can’t just focus on providing you the statements. We’re on the verge of a lot of great things. We are going to talk to CNBC.

All those statements … that’s good for you. We know what we’re doing. We’re managing this whole hype and everything. We are trying to work with it. We were never expecting it and never denied. You have no proof.”

Timothy Sykes, a fellow young stock trader who made $100,000 during his senior year in high school via penny stock trading, claims Islam contacted him two years ago asking for help in a blog post.

“… someone with the same name who went to the same high school (Stuyvesant High School) emailed me a little over two years ago asking for help learning how to trade, saying he had $1,000 to his name…how he wants to make his family proud, become a millionaire, yada yada yada.”

Sykes also calls him out on his alleged net worth.

“It’s good to get excited about the potential for profits in the stock market, especially for high schoolers and those in college who are shunned by the business world due to their age, but you have to be realistic…yes, with the right strategy and guidance ANYONE can turn a few thousand dollars into a few million within a few years…but if you want to claim such astronomical figures you better be able to back it up.”

Islam and Tulemagabetov were scheduled to make an appearance today on CNBC to “make it clear” but then cancelled at the last minute. Islam is now backpedalling on his claims, saying he’s only made a couple million dollars, but declining to be more specific. He told CNBC:

“The attention is not what we expected – we never wanted the hype. This was about friends trying to make something exciting together … We expected a regular article about what he [sic] hope to do. The way we were portrayed is not who we are.”

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