In finance, time-weighted average price (TWAP) is the average price of a security over a specified time.
TWAP is also sometimes used to describe a TWAP card, that is a strategy that will attempt to execute an order and achieve the TWAP or better. A TWAP strategy underpins more sophisticated ways of buying and selling than simply executing orders en masse: for example, dumping a huge number of shares in one block is likely to affect market perceptions, with an adverse effect on the price.
A TWAP strategy is often used to minimize a large order's impact on the market and result in price improvement. High-volume traders use TWAP to execute their orders over a specific time, so they trade to keep the price close to that which reflects the true market price. TWAP orders are a strategy of executing trades evenly over a specified time period. Volume-weighted average price (VWAP) balances execution with volume. Regularly, a VWAP trade will buy or sell 40% of a trade in the first half of the day and then the other 60% in the second half of the day. A TWAP trade would most likely execute an even 50/50 volume in the first and second half of the day.
TWAP is calculated using the following formula:
- is Time Weighted Average Price;
- is the price of security at a time of measurement;
- is change of time since previous price measurement;
- is each individual measurement that takes place over the defined period of time.
Increased period of measurements results in a less up-to-date price.