Realized Gain


DEFINITION of 'Realized Gain'

A gain resulting from selling an asset at a price higher than the original purchase price. Realized gain occurs when an asset is disbursed at a level that exceeds its cost of book value. While an asset may be carried on a balance sheet at a level far above cost, any gains while the asset is still being held would be considered unrealized, as the asset is only being valued at a fair market value.

BREAKING DOWN 'Realized Gain'

Once an asset that is being held on the books at an unrealized gain is sold for a realized profit, a firm will predictably see an increase in its current assets and a gain from sale. Such a gain may lead to an increased tax burden, since realized gains from sales are typically taxable income. This is one drawback of turning an unrealized "paper" gain into a realized gain.

  1. Asset Accumulation

    The increase in the value of financial property and investments ...
  2. Capital Loss

    The loss incurred when a capital asset (investment or real estate) ...
  3. Unrealized Gain

    A profit that exists on paper, resulting from any type of investment. ...
  4. Capital Gain

    1. An increase in the value of a capital asset (investment or ...
  5. Realized Loss

    A loss is recognized when assets are sold for a price lower than ...
  6. Liquidation

    1. When a business or firm is terminated or bankrupt, its assets ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    To Sell Or Not To Sell

    Learn some tips on how to exit a position to the best of your advantage.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Reinvesting Capital Gains In Leveraged Portfolios

    Don't get forced into action. Learn how to plan properly to avoid making rash decisions.
  3. Investing Basics

    Overcoming Compounding's Dark Side

    Understanding how money is made and lost over time can help you improve your returns.
  4. Taxes

    Capital Gains Tax 101

    Find out how taxes are applied to your investment returns and how you can reduce your tax burden.
  5. Taxes

    Avoid Capital Gains Tax On Your Home Sale

    If you have property to sell and want to avoid capital gains tax, a Section 1031 exchange may be the answer.
  6. Investing

    How ETFs May Save You Thousands

    Being vigilant about the amount you pay and what you get for is important, but adding ETFs into the investment mix fits well with a value-seeking nature.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Mutual Funds Millennials Should Avoid

    Find out what kinds of mutual funds are unsuitable for millennial investors, especially when included in millennial retirement accounts.
  8. Bonds & Fixed Income

    High Yield Bond Investing 101

    Taking on high-yield bond investments requires a thorough investigation. Here are looking the fundamentals.
  9. Investing Basics

    Investing $100 a Month in Stocks for 30 Years

    Find out how you could potentially earn hundreds of thousands of dollars by just investing $100 a month in stocks during your working years.
  10. Investing

    5 Ways to Reduce Your Taxes After a Windfall Gain

    Windfall income is a welcome padding to any bank account, but plan for the government's share before you start spending.
  1. What are the differences between gains & losses and revenue & expenses?

    Most companies include revenues, gains, expenses and losses in their income statements. Though some of the terms sound similar, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are unrealized gains and losses?

    An unrealized loss occurs when a stock decreases after an investor buys it, but he or she has yet to sell it. If a large ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How are realized profits different from unrealized or so-called "paper" profits?

    When buying and selling assets for profit, it is important for investors to differentiate between realized profits and gains, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why have mutual funds become so popular?

    Mutual funds have become an incredibly popular option for a wide variety of investors. This is primarily due to the automatic ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do mutual funds pay dividends?

    Depending on the specific assets in its portfolio, a mutual fund may generate income for shareholders in the form of capital ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why is the Cayman Islands considered a tax haven?

    The Cayman Islands is one of the most well-known tax havens in the world. Unlike most countries, the Cayman Islands does ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  2. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  3. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  4. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  5. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  6. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!