When am I eligible to receive a dividend?

A dividend is a portion of the company's profits paid out to shareholders. To be eligible for a dividend, you must purchase the stock during or prior to the cum-dividend trading period and hold the stock on the ex-dividend date.

Using the diagram above, if you wish to purchase shares just to receive the dividend and then sell them again, you need to purchase the stock during the cum-dividend trading period (no later than the 20th in this example) and you may then sell them any time on or after the ex-dividend date (21st onwards).

If you purchase the stock on the ex-dividend date, you will not be entitled to the dividend payment.

Please note: Companies are not obligated to pay a dividend and hence not all companies on the ASX will pay out a dividend. The above example is not reflective of the specific dates of any particular company. You can view a company's dividend information including payment date on the website by logging in to the CommSec website. 

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