Question about Assets as reported vs account balance

Derek Atkins warlord at MIT.EDU
Thu Jan 6 12:26:04 EST 2011

"Joost 't Hart" <joost.t.hart at> writes:

> What I am still looking for is how to xfer the unrealized gains at the
> end of the year. The become "realized gains" and should end up at some
> equity account.

As I said in my previous email, unrealized gains don't actually exist.
There is nothing to "transfer".  Even at the end of the year the gains
are still not "realized".  You don't realize a gain until you sell the
asset whose value has increased.

For example, you buy 10 shares of stock on Jan 1, 2010 for $10/share (so
a total purchase of $100).  On Dec 31, 2010 the share price is
$15/share, so you have an unrealized gain of $5/sh * 10sh = $50.
However this $50 doesn't exist.  It's only on paper.  However you don't
sell the stock until Jan 4, 2011, at which time it dropped back to
$12/sh, so you get $120 for a realized gain of $20.

> I do not know how to accomplish this, preferably without nullifying
> income and expense accounts...
> For what it's worth it; cheers,
> Joost.

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       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL:    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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