A lot of folks are buzzing about 17-year-old Stuyvesant High School senior Mohammed “Mo” Islam who is rumoured to have made $US72 million from trading.
New York Magazine’s Jessica Pressler profiled him in a recent issue.
But a number of folks who know Islam told Business Insider that they strongly believe that the $US72 million figure is just a rumour — a rumour that Islam hasn’t denied.
In the article, he acknowledged to Pressler over caviar and apple juice that his net worth was in the “high eight figures.”
A source familiar with the story told Business Insider that Islam is not worth $US72 million. The source believes it’s a rumour started by Islam’s friends or partners that was perpetuated by the New York Magazine article.
Pressler has also defended the story. She Tweeted that she saw a bank statement with the eight figures and is comfortable with what’s in the piece. She also Tweeted that New York Magazine “is not a financial publication.”
Business Insider actually featured Islam on our list of the top 20 “Teen Traders Trying To Take Over The Finance World” just over a year ago. He was nominated by his peers and they made no claims about his net worth.
In a phone interview on Monday, Islam’s partner Damir Tulemagabetov, who was also in the New York Magazine article, noted the $US72 million figure was described as a “rumour.”
“Let me put it this way…it’s stated as a rumour,” Tulemaganbetov told us when we asked him if he would deny the $US72 million figure. He was with Islam in a car headed to CNBC’s studios in New Jersey.
“All the hype, [Islam] deserves it,” Tulemaganbetov said. Adding that he is “pretty sure” Islam is a “a great trader” and that he’s a “genius.”
Business Insider asked for audited numbers or P&L statements to prove that Islam’s networth is close to $US72 million. Tulemaganbetov refused.
Islam himself did not respond to our email this morning requesting the numbers. He also would not get on the phone when Business Insider learned he was riding in the car to CNBC.
The investment club for young traders, of which Islam is a member, sent Business Insider this statement regarding the $US72 million figure:
It has been brought to the attention of the Leaders Investment Club that Mohammed Islam has been rumoured to have made $US72,000,000 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.
Islam’s partner Tulemaganbetov, however, would not be that clear in his coversation with Business Insider.
“We can’t just talk about the numbers. It’s not just about the money,” Tulemaganbetov said. “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.”
Again, Business Insider pressed the issue of the P&L statements.
“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.”
Tulemaganbetov told us that Islam didn’t expect all the attention. He just expected a magazine article.
“The guy became famous all over the world in 24 hours. He’s all over the world. The next thing we wake up and he’s famous. This guy is a celebrity all over the world right now.”
Tulemaganbetov told us that they were going to “make it clear on CNBC.”
We’ll be watching.