Dividends offer an additional incentive for stock investors by way of distributed profits. In addition to the potential gain from stock price increases, dividends pay a set amount annually for each share you own. The payments are usually divided into quarters, although a company may decide to distribute dividends in different periods. The dividend amount is freely available from your broker, so you can easily calculate the amount of your periodic dividend payment.
1. Call your broker and ask what the dividend payment is for a given stock. You can also find this information by searching the ticker symbol on one of many financial websites, such as finance.yahoo.com, quote.com or moneycentral.msn.com. As an example, Intel Corporation offers a $0.84 annual dividend as of publication.
2. Divide this dividend figure by the number of periods in a year. In most cases, payments are made quarterly, so you would divide by four. In the example, you would receive $0.21 per share quarterly.
3. Multiply this figure by the number of shares you own. This derives your actual payment per period. In the example, if you had 500 shares of Intel stock, you would receive $105 per quarter.