Definition of Date of Record

What is the "date of record" as it applies to the world of dividends and stock investing? What is the definition of the term "date of record"?

When it comes to the world of dividends, there are four important dates that you should be concerned with:

1) Declaration of Dividend Date
2) Ex-Dividend Date
3) Date of Record
4) Dividend Payment Date

The "declaration of dividend" is the day on which a company declares that they will be paying a dividend.

The "ex-dividend date" is the first day on which people buying the company's shares WILL NOT be eligible for the next dividend.

Definition of Date of Record - Financial Dictionary - Growing Dollar Tree IllustrationThe "date of record" is the day on which a shareholder must officially own shares in order to receive the next dividend.

The "payment date" is the day on which shareholders of record will receive the dividend.


Now - what is the difference between the "ex-dividend date" and the "date of record"?

Well, all stock purchases and sales must "settle". This is why the "ex-dividend date" is purposely set a few business days before the date of record - all purchases must be given time to settle.

So, if you see this:

Ex-Dividend Date: November 4th, 2013
Date of Record: November 7th, 2013

This means that you must buy shares BEFORE November 4th, 2013 in order to be eligible for the dividend payment, as all shareholders of record as of November 7th, 2013 will receive the dividend. It takes a few days for the purchase to settle, which is why the date of record is after the ex-dividend date.

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