Crystallization

DEFINITION of 'Crystallization'

The act of selling and buying stocks almost instantaneously in order to increase or decrease book value. This is a routine method used by many investors and companies to change book values without changing beneficial ownership.

BREAKING DOWN 'Crystallization'

An example of this occurs when an investor needs to take a capital loss for a particular stock, but still believes the stock will rise. Thus, he/she would crystallize the paper loss by selling the stock and buying it back right away.

Most tax agencies have regulations (such as the wash-sale rule) to prevent taking a capital loss in this fashion.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Capital Loss

    The loss incurred when a capital asset (investment or real estate) ...
  2. Paper Profit (Paper Loss)

    Unrealized capital gain (or capital loss) in an investment. It ...
  3. Wash-Sale Rule

    An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule that prohibits a taxpayer ...
  4. Pairoff

    1. A purchase of securities to offset a previously transacted ...
  5. Wash Sale

    A transaction where an investor sells a losing security to claim ...
  6. Book Value

    1. The value at which an asset is carried on a balance sheet. ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Don't Put Off Your Year-End Tax Plan

    From sales tax deductions to credit reports, check out what items should be on your financial checklist.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The ABCs of Mutual Fund Classes

    There are three main mutual fund classes, and each charges fees in a different way.
  3. Investing Basics

    5 Common Mistakes Young Investors Make

    Missteps are common whenever you’re learning something new. But in investing, missteps can have serious financial consequences.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The 4 Best American Funds for Growth Investors in 2016

    Discover four excellent growth funds from American Funds, one of the country's premier mutual fund families with a history of consistent returns.
  5. Products and Investments

    A Guide to DIY Portfolio Management

    These are some of the pillars needed to build a DIY portfolio.
  6. Investing

    What Investors Need to Know About Returns in 2016

    Last year wasn’t a great one for investors seeking solid returns, so here are three things we believe all investors need to know about returns in 2016.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top 5 Buffalo Funds for Retirement Diversification in 2016

    Discover the top five Buffalo Funds for retirement diversification in 2016, with a summary of each fund, including manager and performance information.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    How to Build Your Own Mutual Fund

    Here are some tips for building a mutual fund that may help pave the way to a strong performance.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Are the Most Popular Mutual Funds Your Best Bet?

    Learn about the dangers that come with investing in the most popular mutual funds and discover how investors can better fill out their portfolios.
  10. Investing

    Where to Ride Out the Volatility

    The one word that characterizes financial markets today: volatile. Take a look at these three considerations.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Does mutual fund manager tenure matter?

    Mutual fund investors have numerous items to consider when selecting a fund, including investment style, sector focus, operating ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why do financial advisors dislike target-date funds?

    Financial advisors dislike target-date funds because these funds tend to charge high fees and have limited histories. It ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What licenses does a hedge fund manager need to have?

    A hedge fund manager does not necessarily need any specific license to operate a fund, but depending on the type of investments ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can mutual funds invest in hedge funds?

    Mutual funds are legally allowed to invest in hedge funds. However, hedge funds and mutual funds have striking differences ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. When are mutual funds considered a bad investment?

    Mutual funds are considered a bad investment when investors consider certain negative factors to be important, such as high ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What fees do financial advisors charge?

    Financial advisors who operate as fee-only planners charge a percentage, usually 1 to 2%, of a client's net assets. For a ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  2. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  3. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  4. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  5. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
Trading Center