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Time-Weighted Rate of Return (TWR)


The Time-Weighted Rate of Return (TWR) is a measure of the rate of growth of an investment portfolio, which accounts for the effect of cash inflows and outflows. It eliminates the impact of cash movements on the performance of the portfolio, giving a true picture of the manager’s performance. TWR is particularly useful for comparing the performance of different investment funds or portfolios.


The phonetics for “Time-Weighted Rate of Return (TWR)” is:Tyme – Way-ted Rayt ov Re-turn (Tee-double-u-ar)

Key Takeaways

  1. Measuring the rate of growth: TWR is a measure of the rate of growth of an investment portfolio. It measures the compound rate of growth over a specified period of time. This makes it a valuable measurement for comparing the performance of different investments or portfolios.
  2. Eliminates the effect of external cash flows: Unlike other methods, TWR eliminates the effect of external cash flows such as dividends, withdrawals, or new investments. This means that it truly reflects the performance of a portfolio and not influenced by intermediate cash flows. Therefore, it is an effective way to evaluate the management’s performance.
  3. Used for account performance comparison: Because TWR is unaffected by cash injections or withdrawals, it is the preferred method for comparing the performance of different investment accounts, or of one account to a benchmark. It provides a fair comparison by calculating the return on the initial investment, regardless of the amounts subsequently invested or withdrawn during the term of the investment.


The Time-Weighted Rate of Return (TWR) is a crucial financial term as it helps investors or portfolio managers accurately measure the rate of growth of a particular investment. TWR considers the impact of cash flows and the timing of these cash flows into an investment account, which makes it a more reliable measurement tool because it eliminates the effect of external influences like investment contributions or withdrawals. This way, it provides an effective evaluation of the manager’s performance by reflecting the compound rate of growth over a specified period. Its consistent methodology across various platforms makes comparisons among fund performances more objective and reliable. Therefore, TWR is essential in decision-making processes related to investment strategies, allowing investors to make more informed choices.


The Time-Weighted Rate of Return (TWR) is a metric used predominantly by financial institutions and investment professionals to measure the compound rate of growth in a portfolio. It determines the rate of return of an investment or a portfolio, negating the impact of cash flows which arise from deposits and withdrawals. Its purpose is to provide a precise measurement of an asset’s or portfolio’s underlying investment performance, specifically in situations where the investment has received inflow or outflow of money.TWR can be critical for comparing the performance of multiple investments or for evaluating the track record of fund managers. It can be applied to assess the performance of mutual funds, hedge funds, and portfolio managers. More importantly, because it levels out the impact of varying cash flows, TWR stands as an equitable measure to distinguish the influence of an investor’s actions from the fundamental performance of their investments. Thus, TWR allows investors or financial analysts to accurately gauge if value addition is resulting from investment decisions or from fortuitous timing of cash flows.


1. Investment Portfolio Evaluation: An investment advisor has a client with a diverse portfolio. The client made several large contributions and withdrawals during the year. To accurately assess how the advisor’s investment strategies are working, they use the time-weighted rate of return (TWR). This method disregards the effect of these cash inflows and outflows and focuses on the returns generated by the advisor’s investment decisions.2. Mutual Fund Performance: A mutual fund company makes daily decisions about buying and selling securities. Throughout the year, investors buy into and sell out of the fund, but these individual decisions don’t impact the decisions of the fund manager. To show how well the fund has performed over the course of a year, regardless of investor cash flow, the company uses TWR.3. Pension Fund Appraisal: Consider a pension fund with routine contributions from the members and occasional payouts for retirees. They hire a professional fund manager to make investment decisions. To measure the performance of this fund manager, the pension fund uses the time-weighted rate of return. The TWR enables the pension fund to isolate the returns based solely on the manager’s investment decisions, regardless of when members make contributions or when pensions are paid out.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Time-Weighted Rate of Return (TWR)?

The Time-Weighted Rate of Return (TWR) is a measure of the rate of return of an investment or portfolio, which eliminates the distorting effects caused by inflows and outflows of money. It’s commonly used to compare the performance of investment funds.

How is TWR calculated?

TWR is calculated by taking the geometric mean of several sub-period returns. It links these returns over the different periods of investment, which allows for the effects of cash flows.

Why is TWR important in finance and business?

TWR is crucial as it provides a clear and unbiased measure of investment performance. It’s particularly useful for comparing the performance of different fund managers or investment strategies.

What is the difference between TWR and Money-Weighted Rate of Return (MWR)?

TWR solely considers the performance of the fund, removing the impact of contributions and withdrawals, while MWR reflects the individual investor’s unique cash flow timing, incorporating the effect of deposits and withdrawals on the portfolio.

Where can I use TWR?

TWR is widely used within the investment management industry. If you are an investor, an analyst, a portfolio manager or financial advisor, you can use TWR to assess the performance of portfolios and compare different investment opportunities.

Does TWR consider the cash flow in the portfolio?

TWR considers the impact of cash inflows and outflows, but in a way that eliminates their effect on the return calculation. Unlike MWR, it measures return regardless of when an investor enters or leaves.

Can TWR be negative?

Yes, TWR can be negative. A negative TWR signifies that the overall value of the portfolio has decreased over the period of measurement.

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