What are the key dates relating to stock Dividends?

Overview: 

Key dates relating to stock dividends are as follows:

1. Declaration Date - date at which company's board of directors approves dividend payment and designates the Payment Date and Record Date.

2. Record Date - the date which determines which stockholders are entitled to receive the dividend payment. You need to own the shares as of the close of the Record Date in order to receive the dividend.

3. Ex-Dividend Date - the date on or after which the stock will be traded without the right to receive the dividend. Because most stock trades in the US settle regular way; that is, two business days after the trade, an individual must purchase the stock two business days before the Record Date to qualify for the dividend. The Ex-Dividend Date is therefore one business day before the Record Date.

4. Payment Date - the date on which the declared dividend is paid to all stockholders owning shares on the record date.

 

* Please note these key dates may be different for special dividends. Please reference KB 3043 for information regarding special dividends.

My account was debited for a dividend payment (Payment in Lieu) for a short stock position which I don’t recognize. How did this occur?

Overview: 

 

A short stock position may originate from an option position which you held in your account.  For example, if you hold a long put position in your account, that position may be subject to automatic exercise by the clearinghouse if it is in-the-money by a defined threshold at expiration.  This put exercise will generate a short stock position in your account (assuming you do not have an offsetting long position), and you are obligated to pay any dividends should you maintain a short stock position on the ex-dividend date. 

 

Similarly, a short call position in your account is subject to assignment should a call purchaser elect to exercise their right to purchase the stock and your account be allocated through the random clearinghouse and broker assignment process.  This call assignment will generate a short stock position in your account (assuming you do not have an offsetting long position), and you are obligated to pay any dividends should you maintain a short stock position on the ex-dividend date. 

 

These payments will be reflected on your Activity Statement as a 'Payment In Lieu Of Dividend'.

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