Social(K) BLOG
October 28, 2022

Fossil Free: Proud to offer Sphere through our partnership with LeafHouse as 3(38) investment fiduciary

I am proud to share that the Sphere 500 Fossil-Free Fund (SPFFX) has been helping investors save for retirement while taking action on climate for a full year. SPFFX invests in the biggest 500 companies in the US, minus the fossil fuel companies in that list. When the fund votes on behalf of its investors on shareholder proposals, it votes for climate action, rather than the status quo. We believe this approach is best for our investors’ bottom line, and also happens to help the planet.

Article originally appeared here

Picture of Sphere 500 Fossil Free (SPFFX) celebrating 1 year of helping invenstors.

Russia invaded Ukraine, sending oil prices sky-high - but that didn’t stop our investors

We could not have predicted that Russia would invade Ukraine, sending oil prices up. But investors have continued to demonstrate that investing with their values matters to them, regardless of whether that means taking short-term losses. We have not had a single investor sell their SPFFX holdings. 

When it comes to retirement investing, long-term growth fuels the compounding interest that makes it possible to retire in comfort, and investors have shown that they understand the power of sticking to a strategy for the long-run. 

While we do not recommend trying to time the market when buying into a fund (dollar-cost averaging is considered by many to be the best way to ensure you get started investing rather than wait on the sidelines), for those looking to sell holdings in an S&P 500-type index to invest in a climate-friendly strategy, now could be a beneficial time to do so.

Data has shown that removing fossil fuels from investments can improve returns

Eliminating a sector or industry from an investment portfolio can help improve the overall return of a portfolio while reducing its volatility over time, leading to greater retirement savings for investors.

A study by the NYU Center for Sustainable Business reviewing 59 studies about the performance of climate-focused funds found that 43% showed a positive correlation between climate focus and performance, and only 14% showed a negative correlation.  

A comparison of the Sphere index's performance to the S&P 500 showed improved performance with the removal of fossil fuel companies. 

Excluding the fossil fuel industry from portfolios also protects investors from stranded asset risk — the risk that public pressure and regulations will require oil, gas, and coal companies to “leave it in the ground,” resulting in a devaluation of the key assets on the companies’ balance sheets and a loss of value of the shares in those companies. 

The Sphere 500 Fossil-Free Fund (SPFFX) offers a simple and transparent approach to climate-friendly investing

SPFFX invests in the biggest 500 companies in the US, and removes the fossil fuel companies from that list. 

A lot of people don’t realize investment funds vote their shares in the companies they invest in. Instead of rubber-stamping board recommendations, SPFFX votes for the planet, following the recommendations of a climate-focused shareholder advocacy nonprofit called As You Sow

Because the SPFFX investment approach is rules-based and not actively managed by an investment manager — i.e. it tracks a rules-based index — it can be affordable. Its all-in fees are 0.07%. 

It's time to celebrate our accomplishments

In our first year, we have built partnerships and become available on a number of 401(k) and brokerage platforms, including Vanguard, Pershing, Ascensus, MidAtlantic, Matrix, Vestwell, Human Interest, LeafHouse, and Carbon Collective. We’re working hard to become available everywhere. 

We have gone live on a number of 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans, with company leaders and employees requesting to add us to more retirement plan lineups every day. 

In addition to retirement plans, a growing number of private investors have moved their investments into SPFFX, joining early investors Clay Rockefeller, great-great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller, and Eliot Horowitz, co-founder of tech unicorn MongoDB, in choosing climate-friendly investing with Sphere.

Here’s how you can help make climate-friendly investing available to everyone

If we stay on on our current climate trajectory, we have six years and nine months left until we reach 1.5°C of warming, the point that the international scientific community highly recommends we stay below. We don’t have time to waste. Here’s how you can help change that trajectory.

Start by telling the gatekeepers at financial platforms that you want good climate-friendly investment solutions today. You can point them to helpful resources like and the SPFFX fund description to get them started looking at solutions. We are always happy to get on the phone to share more as well - you can reach us at

If you are a customer of a financial platform that does not offer SPFFX or other good climate-friendly investing options, tweet at them, submit a message to their customer service teams, or have your financial advisor get in touch with them. Show them the data that shows that fossil-free options can perform well over the long-run. If they hear from enough of us, they’ll start listening.


Before investing in the Sphere 500 Fossil-Free Fund (“SPFFX”), consider the fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. To obtain a prospectus or summary prospectus which contains this and other information, please visit, call 844-2-SPHERE, or talk to your financial advisor. Read the prospectus carefully before investing. The Sphere 500 Fossil-Free Index tracks the top 500 US companies and excludes the fossil fuel companies that are in the top 500 list. The Sphere 500 Fossil-Free Index will not invest in companies whose main lines of business include producing, distributing, or refining fossil fuels, holding reserves of fossil fuels, utilities that are primarily fossil fuel-powered, and producers of equipment for any of the above. However, the fund may invest in companies that use fossil fuel as a part of their business or have used fossil fuels in the past. The performance data quoted represents past performance and is no guarantee of future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Index returns do not reflect the effects of fees or expenses. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. For the most recent month-end performance, please call 844-2-SPHERE or visit the Fund’s website at Index performance is discussed for illustrative purposes only as a benchmark for each strategy’s performance and does not predict or depict performance of that strategy. While index comparisons may be useful to provide a benchmark for a strategy’s performance, it must be noted that investments are not limited to the investments comprising the indices. Each of the strategy benchmark indices are unmanaged and cannot be purchased directly by investors. Past performance does not guarantee future results. No portion of the content should be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell shares of the fund in any jurisdiction where the solicitation or offer would be deemed unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. The Sphere 500 Fossil-Free Fund is distributed by Vigilant Distributors, LLC, member of FINRA and SIPC. NOT FDIC INSURED NOT BANK GUARANTEED MAY LOSE VALUE

Article originally appeared here

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