I come from the school of thought that there is no such thing as a mistake - it is just a great learning experience. My lesson learned came when First National Financial Corp and the announcement of their year end special dividend caught my eye. The first thing you need to understand is the four dates relating to dividends.
-The Declaration Date, is the date the dividend is announced by the Board of Directors.
-The Record Date is the date you must be on the company’s books to receive the declared dividend.
-Payment Date is the scheduled date the company pays the declared dividend.
And most importantly:
-The Ex-Dividend Date: If you buy the stock before the ex-dividend date, you’ll receive the dividend – but if you buy on or after the ex-date, you won’t.
Only shareholders who own the stock before the ex-dividend date are entitled to the dividend. I say the ex-dividend date is the most important because it is the date that ensures you are on the company’s books and receive the dividend payment.
I always say risk comes from not knowing what you are doing. When I went to purchase First National Financial Corp, one of my main reasons was to receive the special dividend, but I didn’t fully understand the ex-dividend date. I unfortunately purchased my shares ON the ex-date and not before. Because of this silly mistake I missed out on the company’s quarterly dividend payment and their year end special dividend, totaling $130. I know, I know it is only $130, but it was a $130 that I could have had with no extra effort if I had only clicked buy one day earlier. It would have brought my December dividend amount of $492.35 up to $622.35, which just looks like a more inspiring number.
Anyways, hopefully you can learn from my life lesson, and never miss out on those quality dividends.
“There are no mistakes or failures, only lessons.”
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