Return is calculated for each sub-period

Investing is not just about picking the right assets; it’s also about measuring their performance effectively. Two key metrics often used in this context are Time-Weighted Rate of Return (TWRR) and Money-Weighted Rate of Return (MWRR). Each offers a unique perspective on investment performance, making them indispensable tools for investors and financial analysts.

Time-Weighted Rate of Return (TWRR)Definition and Importance

TWRR is a method used to evaluate the compound rate of growth in a portfolio. This measure is especially useful because it eliminates the impact of cash flows into and out of the portfolio. It’s a preferred metric for fund managers as it reflects their investment skills without being influenced by external cash movements.

Calculation Method

TWRR breaks down the investment period into sub-periods, each beginning with a cash flow event. The return is calculated for each sub-period, and these individual returns are then geometrically linked to provide an overall rate of return. This approach ensures that the performance is based solely on the investment decisions, not on the timing or amount of external cash flows.

Ideal Use-Case

TWRR is best applied in scenarios where the fund manager doesn’t have control over the cash flows, such as in mutual funds or pension funds. It provides a fair assessment of the manager’s performance by focusing purely on investment decisions.

Money-Weighted Rate of Return (MWRR)Definition and Significance

MWRR, also known as the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), is a measure that takes into account the size and timing of cash flows into and out of the portfolio. It calculates the rate of return that would make the net present value of all cash flows (both incoming and outgoing) equal to zero.

Calculation Method

MWRR involves a more complex calculation than TWRR. It requires finding the discount rate that equates the present value of cash inflows with the present value of cash outflows. This often needs iterative methods or financial calculators, as it’s not usually solvable by simple algebra.

Ideal Use-Case

MWRR is particularly relevant for individual investors who have irregular cash flows. It offers a personalized return measurement, reflecting the timing of an individual’s specific investments and withdrawals.

Comparing TWRR and MWRRWhen to Use Which?

  • Use TWRR to assess a fund manager’s performance, as it isolates their decision-making skills.
  • Use MWRR for personal investment portfolios, especially when cash flows are irregular and investor-controlled.

Key Differences

  • TWRR is unaffected by the size and timing of cash flows, while MWRR is sensitive to these factors.
  • MWRR can be more representative of an individual investor’s actual experience, but it can also be misleading in evaluating a fund manager’s performance.


Understanding TWRR and MWRR is crucial for accurately assessing portfolio performance. While TWRR offers a pure glimpse into investment decision-making effectiveness, MWRR provides insight into how cash flow timings and amounts affect overall returns. By leveraging these tools appropriately, investors can gain a more nuanced understanding of their investment performance and make more informed decisions.

Remember, the choice between TWRR and MWRR depends on the context of the investment and what you are looking to measure. Each metric has its strengths and is best used in scenarios that align with those strengths.

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