A gain is an increase in the value of an asset or property. A gain arises if the selling price of the asset is higher than the original purchase price. A gain can occur anytime in the life of an asset. If an investor owns a stock purchased for $15 and the market now prices that stock at $20, then the investor is sitting on a five dollar gain. That said, a gain only truly matters when the asset is sold and the gains are realized as profit. An asset may see many unrealized gains and losses between purchase and sale because the market is constantly reassessing the value of assets.
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