John H. Burbank III is the son of a Russian and Slavic literature scholar who taught in private schools and a mother who edited books. He majored in English at Duke University and then took a year to teach in Ningbo, China. Returning to the U.S., he earned an M. B.A. at Stanford in 1992.
Still not sure what he wanted to do, John H. Burbank III traveled once again for Africa and Europe with James Cunningham, a business school buddy. By the time he returned to the U.S. from his second foreign voyage, Burbank had decided to become a professional investor. He took out a $50,000 credit card loan in 1994 to find out how it feels to make, or lose, real money in the stock market.
He plowed a big portion of his money into a hot biotech stock that he was sure was a winner–only to lose most of it. Burbank eventually clawed his way back and paid off his loan. His takeaway lesson: Betting on short-term movements is a crapshoot; serious investing demands lots of homework and patience.
- 1992–1996 Held management positions in various start-up companies, and active as a private investor
- 1996–1998 Director of Research for ValueVest Management, a long/short global value hedge fund
- 1999–2000 Consultant for a $1.0 billion market neutral arbitrage fund
- Founder of Passport Capital LLC in 2000. Managing Member, Chief Investment Officer