If you own stock on a certain date, you qualify to receive dividends for that stock. This date is called the ex-dividend date. You can still qualify for dividends even if you purchase the stock only a few days before the ex-dividend date. However, if you sell the stock prior to this date, you don't get any dividends. Wait at least three days after the ex-dividend date to collect your dividend payment before selling your stock.
1. Purchase the stock at least three days before the date of record to qualify to get dividends. Check the stock certificate to find out the ex-dividend date.
2. Wait for three days after the ex-dividend date. Keep an eye on how the stock is doing so you know whether to sell or continue to hold onto it.
3. Collect your dividend. After you've collected it, sell the stock if you do not want to keep it.
- The stock's value often goes down right after the company pays out dividends.