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Weighted Average Remaining Term (WART)


The Weighted Average Remaining Term (WART) is a financial metric used in the analysis of loan portfolios, particularly mortgage-backed securities. It calculates the average time to maturity of all loans in a portfolio, weighted by the size of each loan. This helps investors evaluate the expected life of the portfolio and assess the risk of prepayment or default.


The phonetics for the keyword “Weighted Average Remaining Term (WART)” are:Weighted: ‘WeɪtɪdAverage: ‘AvərɪʤRemaining: Rɪ’meɪnɪŋTerm: Tɜːrm WART: Wɑːrt

Key Takeaways

  1. Weighted Average Remaining Term (WART) is a calculation often used in financial risk analysis. It represents the average time period that outstanding balances, often of debts or investments, are expected to remain active. It takes into account both the size or weight of individual balances and their corresponding remaining time periods.
  2. The WART calculation helps investors or analysts understand the timeline within which their expected returns, or repayment of dues, are to be received. This is essential for cash-flow planning, risk management, and potentially adjusting investment or debt strategies.
  3. WART can vary significantly depending on the specific portfolio. Its impact will be determined by the type of debts or investments (short or long term) and the distribution of the outstanding balances. Thus, understanding WART requires detailed sensitivity analysis and scenario planning.


Weighted Average Remaining Term (WART) is a crucial business/finance term as it plays a significant role in investment and risk management strategies, particularly in portfolio management. It essentially gives the time-weighted average of the remaining lifespan of the financial securities within a portfolio and provides investors with a general estimation of the time frame before the securities mature or are expected to be repaid. By understanding the WART, investors can have a clearer insight into the sensitivity or susceptibility of the portfolio to interest rate variations, thus helping them to manage risk, predict cash flows, and allocate assets strategically. It is also used to ensure that investments correspond with time-bound financial goals, aiding in benchmarking and performance assessment.


The purpose of the Weighted Average Remaining Term (WART) in finance is to provide an aggregated measure of the remaining term of all the loans within a portfolio, with waning years adjusted in accordance with the outstanding balance associated with each loan. This is particularly essential for financial institutions, such as banks or lending companies, as it aids in managing their portfolio risk assessment by understanding the degree of variability in the time remaining for all the loans to be fully repaid. This measure allows companies to estimate the timing of future cash flows and, subsequently, better administer their liquidity and plan for future funding needs.Recognized as a form of risk management, WART is frequently used in the fields of mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities. In these instances, WART provides a prediction about the lifespan of the securities in a portfolio, helping investors understand the potential risks and returns associated with these investment products. It is crucial for making informed investment decisions because the length of time before an investment matures or is fully repaid can significantly impact its risk and return profile. WART allows investors to balance their portfolios and align their investment strategies with their risk tolerance and financial goals.


1. Mortgage-backed Securities: In the financial industry, especially in the context of mortgage-backed securities, WART is a crucial term. For instance, a portfolio of mortgage-backed securities may contain numerous underlying mortgages, each with varying terms and maturity dates. The Weighted Average Remaining Term will provide a key measure of the average time until all loans are fully repaid, while considering their respective sizes. 2. Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Programs: These programs typically involve shorter-term obligations. To balance the portfolio and maintain the program’s credit quality, the financial institution might have a target WART for the assets it holds. For instance, if the WART becomes too low, indicating that many obligations will mature — and have to be paid off — soon, the financial institution may choose to purchase assets with a longer WART to balance the portfolio and maintain a healthy liquidity condition.3. Lease Contracts: In real estate or equipment leasing businesses, a report may be generated summarizing all of the active lease contracts comprising of varying terms and expiration dates. The WART in this context is computed to provide insights on the average amount of time left on all standing leases considering the financial weight of each. This can help the company to analyze the structure of rental cash flow in the future and make strategic decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Weighted Average Remaining Term (WART)?

The Weighted Average Remaining Term, also known as WART, is a metric used in finance and economics. It calculates the average time to maturity of all the loans in a pool or portfolio, taking into consideration the outstanding balance of each loan.

How is WART calculated?

WART is calculated using the remaining term of each loan and its corresponding outstanding balance or principal. Each loan’s remaining term is multiplied by its outstanding balance, these quantities are added together, and then divided by the total outstanding balance of all the loans.

What is the significance of WART?

WART provides a measure of the risk profile of a loan pool or portfolio. A higher WART may indicate a higher risk, as it implies that, on average, the loans have a longer time to maturity, which can increase the probability of default.

Does a lower WART mean lower risk?

Not necessarily. While a lower WART implies that the loans have a shorter time to maturity, it doesn’t always imply lower overall risk. Other factors like the credit profile of borrowers, interest rates and economic conditions also matter.

Where is WART typically used?

The Weighted Average Remaining Term is primarily applied in the field of asset-backed securities, especially in the analysis of mortgage-backed securities. Lenders, investors, and financial analysts use it when assessing the risks associated with loan portfolios.

Do all loan types factor into WART calculation?

Yes, all types of loans in a pool or portfolio factor in the calculation of WART, including mortgages, student loans, corporate loans, and auto loans, provided they have a defined term and ongoing balance.

Can WART be adjusted based on changing conditions?

Yes, WART can be adjusted in response to prepayments or defaults of the loans in the portfolio. This adjusted figure can provide a more realistic representation of the portfolio’s risk profile.

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