What is record date and ex-dividend date?

Record date is the date that an investor must be listed as a security holder on the company's books and records in order to be eligible to receive the declared dividend or distribution. The company sets a record date upon announcement of the dividend.

Ex-dividend date precedes the record date by a few business days (depending on the length of the settlement process). In order to be eligible to receive the declared dividend or distribution, an investor needs to buy the stock at least one day before the ex-dividend date to ensure the transaction is entered into the company's record/books. However, if the investor purchases the stock on or after its ex-dividend date, that investor will not receive the declared dividend or distribution on the record date (in this case, the declared dividend or distribution would be paid to the seller of the security).

Last updated July 2, 2020