The Growing Power of Dividends

Learn everything you need to know in '7 Winning Strategies for Dividend Investors' for FREE from The Successful Investor.

The Best Canadian Dividend Stocks to Buy: REITS Canada and other Top Canadian Dividend Stocks.


Topic: Dividend Stocks

Can you use the ex-dividend date as an investing strategy?

ex-dividend date

Use the ex-dividend date (and record date) as an investing strategy to get the most dividend returns

Knowing your ex-dividend date, and record date, will help you get full value from your dividends, but trying to make a quick buck buying and selling around key dividend dates is not worth the risk.

Dividend stocks are an essential part of a good conservative investing philosophy. But there are certain details you should know about the way dividends are paid out. Key to that is understanding the ex dividend date and record date.

The Growing Power of Dividends

Learn everything you need to know in '7 Winning Strategies for Dividend Investors' for FREE from The Successful Investor.

The Best Canadian Dividend Stocks to Buy: REITS Canada and other Top Canadian Dividend Stocks.


Important detail: the ex dividend date and record date

The ex dividend date and record date are closely related and often confused. The ex-dividend date is two business days before the record date when the shares begin to trade without their dividend. If you buy stocks one day or more before their ex-dividend date, you will still get the dividend. That’s when a stock is said to trade cum-dividend, or with dividend. If you buy on the ex-dividend date or later, you won’t get the dividend. The ex-dividend date is in place to allow pending stock trades to settle. It’s why investors pay close attention to both the ex dividend date and record date when buying shares.

An example of using the ex-dividend date as an investing strategy

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say a company’s dividend of $0.52 a share was payable on Friday, February 24, 2023, to those shareholders of record at the close of business on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, the record date.

Two business days before that record date, the shares began to trade without their dividend, that is, on the ex-dividend date of February 22, 2023. If you bought this dividend-paying stock one day or more before the ex-dividend date, you still got the dividend (because the shares are trading cum-dividend, or with dividend). But if you bought these shares on the ex-dividend date or later, you would not receive the dividend.

How to decide if an ex-dividend date, and record date, can be used in your investing strategy

“Dividend capture” is the trading technique of buying a dividend stock just before the dividend is paid, holding it just long enough to collect the dividend, then selling it. If you can sell it for as much as you paid for it (and that’s not guaranteed), you have “captured” the dividend at no cost, other than the transaction costs.

To do this, you would buy shares in stocks just before the ex-dividend date, so you would be a shareholder of record on the record date, and would receive the dividend. Because the stock falls by the amount of the dividend on the ex-dividend date, the strategy then calls for you to wait for the stock to move back to the price where you bought it at before the ex-dividend date. At this point, you sell the stock for a break-even trade.

Dividend capture strategies may have appeal for securities dealers or brokers executing huge trades with very low transaction costs. Corporations may even have tax benefits. But for the average investor, there’s little chance of making a significant profit on this use of ex dividend date, and record date.

Is using the ex-dividend date as an investing strategy new to you? What do you think of this investing strategy in the current market? Please share your thoughts with us.

Comments

Tell Us What YOU Think

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Please be respectful with your comments and help us keep this an area that everyone can enjoy. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Terms of Use, please click here to report it to the administrator.