Theoretical profit or loss of an open position determined by current market prices.

What Are Unrealized Gains and Losses?

Gains or losses are said to be "realized" when a stock (or other investment) that you own is actually sold. Unrealized gains and losses are also commonly known as "paper" profits or losses.

An unrealized loss occurs when a stock decreases after an investor buys it, but has yet to sell it. If a large loss remains unrealized, the investor is probably hoping the stock's fortunes will turn around and the stock's worth will increase past the price at which it was purchased. If the stock rises above the original purchase price, then the investor would have an unrealized gain for the time they hold onto the stock.