John Burbank Unveils the “Least Crowded Trade on the Planet”

Published on
December 15th, 2016
13 minutes

John Burbank Unveils the “Least Crowded Trade on the Planet”

Presentations ·
Featuring John Burbank

Published on: December 15th, 2016 • Duration: 13 minutes

One of the most respected and successful hedge fund managers of his generation is letting us in on what he’s calling the “Least Crowded Trade on the Planet” and perhaps the most significant emergence story since China’s entry into the world stage. In an exclusive appearance on Real Vision TV, money manager John Burbank, founder of $3.6 billion Passport Capital, sets out his thesis to achieve stellar returns from Saudi Arabia, a G20 country which is the 14th largest economy, holding 22% of the world’s oil reserves. After this presentation, find out more about John’s strength of conviction for Saudi Arabia, as he joins Grant Williams for a special Horizon interview. In an exclusive appearance on Real Vision TV, money manager John Burbank, founder of $3.6 billion Passport Capital, sets out his thesis to achieve stellar returns from Saudi Arabia, a G20 country which is the 14th largest economy, holding 22% of the world’s oil reserves.


  • HM
    Holland M.
    2 November 2018 @ 18:05
    This didn't age well.
  • DP
    David P.
    16 January 2017 @ 23:05
    A very good piece. However, John didn't spend any time discussing the relationship between the RF and the public or with the religious right. I would very much like to hear his take on the this issue and the risk that it brings to the investment thesis.
  • RL
    Radu L.
    26 December 2016 @ 19:01
    one issue of this country is that Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud is one of the few local people who actually DO work there. what Burbank calls "cultural curtain" is translated by "laziness", "double standards", "religion in the driver's seat" and a lot of "nice" things to deal with. as long as most of your citizens are not work and not even consider to work you cant go forward...
  • MS
    Matt S.
    23 December 2016 @ 21:28
    Maybe people overlook it because it's the home of global terrorism and Whabist fundamentalism? And financially prudent...? I don't understand that... the Royal Family have literally thousands of princes hanging on the oil coattails... the least of them being given $250K allowances every month, whilst most people starve outside the palace gates. Unless oil goes right back up.... the already strained relationship between the RF and the public might possibly snap. Thy recently beheaded one of their own princes as an appeasement. Doesn't sound like a great country to invest in from a risk standpoint. But then again... do I run Passport Capital? No!
  • ah
    aaron h.
    19 December 2016 @ 13:20
    On sector / macro opportunities: KSA's healthcare market is an interesting play. It's currently a hybrid between the UK's NSA and the US's private insurance market, but growing in the favor of the latter. 30% of hospitals are privately owned and multiple operators are publicly listed with ROCs of +20%. The HC market itself is growing immensely (population growth, aging, increase in diseases and lack of beds per capita relative to G20) and regulatory (private insurance act mandating expats and private sector employees to obtain insurance). Consumer plays are a tough bet as much of the deficit will be made up by deleveraging in the private sector. Ministerial wages were slashed by 20% and you'd be surprised how large of an employer the KSA government actually is. The liquidity situation through receivables to private sector contractors, whereby the government is the buyer of goods and services, is also very interesting. Stay away from construction where the government has picked winners and losers, but look more for recurring service contracts like IT and (again) healthcare where receivables will eventually get paid and thus cash flows will catch up to profits. On the macro side, the country's cash flow (current account deficit) is still out of whack and you can project the decline in FX reserves. On one hand, a lower oil price means means less dollars coming into the country, thus less bank deposits and less domestic credit. On the other, the capital account is now being financed by foreigners ($17.5bn bond issuance) so the local banks can redirect their lending back to the private sector.
  • JH
    Joel H.
    18 December 2016 @ 07:10
    Great segment. Not sure if this would play into any of this, but would be curious if there are any thoughts about the dollar being a headwind to Saudi? For those of us who think the dollar will keep rising, should there be concern that could potentially put some deflationary forces on those countries tied to the dollar?
  • TS
    Tim S.
    18 December 2016 @ 03:21
    Truly brilliant. I find it so fascinating that the thought leaders who do their homework and get involved on the ground -away from the crowd-s find fundamentally sound opportunities. Wow! Just seems to be a common thread.
  • LK
    Lisa K.
    17 December 2016 @ 20:49
    Is it just me, does it seem like this interview was cut off ? ?
  • GC
    Gary C.
    16 December 2016 @ 17:12
    Interesting that no investment media coverage for SA for some time. This week Jim Rickards discusses his case for Saudi currency to plunge in value, and John Burbank gives a list of upbeat fundamental
  • BL
    Bruce L.
    15 December 2016 @ 21:12
    I started a trading co. in India Jan 03 and the move in the stock mkt was epic. Something similar here is a great oppty.
  • DF
    Daniel F.
    15 December 2016 @ 20:57
    Burbank is one of the very best presenters on real vision. Excellent.
  • JS
    James S.
    15 December 2016 @ 17:51
    Another video has been uploaded with more specific opportunities. What a great insight!
  • PB
    Pieter B.
    15 December 2016 @ 17:38
    I just bought some KSA etf. Thanks for the idea!
  • EE
    Eric E.
    15 December 2016 @ 16:35
    I echo Leoterado? Any suggestions on how to best implement?
  • EM
    Emanuel M.
    15 December 2016 @ 16:31
    Very interesting. I agree with least crowded trade but am not sure whether its a successful one. Reform is always nice and sells good but it often brings potential for conflict. I think in Saudi it lies particularly in the relationships between the crown, cleric and a changing society. Further i think Saudi will be forced to drop its fixed exchange rate to the USD, which will create further unrest in society.
  • LW
    Leoterado W.
    15 December 2016 @ 16:01
    But what is s the best instruments or assets class to invest to get exposure to Saudi Arabia?
  • RM
    Richard M.
    15 December 2016 @ 15:30
    Was this just part of a longer interview? It sounded like he had more to cover right before it ended??? What was discussed was very informative, I will have to put SA on the watch list.
  • JV
    JACK V.
    15 December 2016 @ 15:07
    Thank you.
  • MF
    Mohammad F.
    15 December 2016 @ 14:54
    Gold, Silver, Iran and now KSA- great trades on RV.