In order to ensure you are entitled to recieve a dividend from a given stock, you will want to make sure you purchase the stock at least 1 day before the "ex-dividend date". You can find the ex dividend date for most stocks online at Yahoo Finance or MarketWatch. Stock purchases take 3 days to "settle", and the ex dividend date is 2 days prior to the record date. This means if you purchase the stock on the ex-dividend date, your purchase will not be settled and you will not recieve the dividend.
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