Realize

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Realize

To close a position such that one finally sees the profit or loss from an investment. For example, if an investor buys a stock at $5 per share and the price goes to $10, the investor has a paper profit of $5 per share. However, if the investor waits to sell the stock until the price drops to $8, he/she only realizes $3 per share in profit. Investors often wait before realizing substantial profits or losses, as locking in a profit may result in higher taxation, while realizing a loss removes the possibility that the investment can be recovered. See also: Cut losses.