How Are Stock Dividends Paid?

There are many things to consider when investing in stocks. Dividend amount, payments and history are important and attractive to investors seeking income as well as capital appreciation. Dividend payments differ from company to company, but amounts and schedules are available on financial websites, companies' investor pages and in financial newspapers.


Dividend amounts, frequency of payment and history of dividend increases are some factors to consider when buying a stock. When interest rates are low, many savers turn to dividend-paying stocks as a source of interest and income.


Stock dividends can supply a steady source of income. High yielding stocks are available in many diverse sectors from utilities to real estate investment trusts to financials to food.


A stock's dividend schedule is set forth by the company's board of directors. Some dividends are paid in cash and some are paid in the form of additional shares. Investors often have the option of reinvesting cash dividends.

Time Frame

Some stocks pay dividends on a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annually basis. If a stock has performed well and the company is thriving, a special, a one-time or additional dividend can be declared and paid.

Important Dates

The declaration date is the date the company announces a dividend. The ex-date is the date on or after that the stock trades without its dividend. The date of record, also called the record date, is the date a company's transfer agent will consult to see who is entitled to a dividend. The payable date is the date the dividend is paid.


Be careful when buying stocks right before and after dividend dates. The price of the stock will be adjusted by the amount of the dividend when paid and may be volatile.


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