I’m proud to announce I’ve launched a new tool within Custom Stock Alerts. The tool is for ex-dividend alerting – this allows users to get their text or email a few days prior to when a dividend paying company on their list goes ex-dividend.
What is an Ex-Dividend?
“Ex-dividend is a classification of trading shares when a declared dividend belongs to the seller rather than the buyer. A stock will be given ex-dividend status if a person has been confirmed by the company to receive the dividend payment.
A stock trades ex-dividend on or after the ex-dividend date (ex-date). At this point, the person who owns the security on the ex-dividend date will be awarded the payment, regardless of who currently holds the stock. After the ex-date has been declared, the stock will usually drop in price by the amount of the expected dividend.”
So why care? Well, there are a few reasons. Some people try a dividend capture strategy, buying a stock to collect the dividend. They’ll then sell the shares sometime shortly thereafter.
Someone with capital to be invested may be more inclined to invest into a company that is paying out soon – especially if that payment is increased. Part of the text that will be sent will contain whether the payment is changed from the last, perfect for finding those dividend aristocrats and champions that are increasing their yearly payment.
Another reason is just for regular stock or ETF purchases. I like to buy the Schwab US Dividend Equity Fund (SCHD) every quarter as part of my dollar cost averaging plan. What better time to add shares than about a week before the fund pays out?
I wanted to include a screenshot of what my ex-dividend page looks like. By default the data is sorted by the “Days To Go” column. This allows you to easily see what dividend dates are upcoming.
I included a button called “Import From Stock Alerts” that allows for a 2-click setup. It will first ask whether you wish to import all dividend paying stocks from your stock alerts data. The second click is just to confirm it. It won’t overwrite anything you already have setup, just adds to it if needed. By default you will receive your alert 5 days prior to the ex-dividend date but you can change it if you wish.
Unlike the stock alerting tool, these alerts will remain active unless you choose to disable one. This is so you don’t have to think about re-enabling a particular alert every quarter (if your stock pays quarterly). Just delete it if you are no longer interested in receiving the alert.
Here are a couple sample alerts I received from this tool. In the first one, I can see that Williams-Sonoma is paying out a $0.39 dividend with an ex-dividend date of July 19, 2017. If this was a different payment amount, there would be a line underneath the amount stating the “Percent Change”.
Again, to reiterate, you must own shares prior to July 19th, July 18th is the last day to buy shares to receive the dividend. The data on the actual tool will represent that, on the last day, the “Days To Go” column will say “1 (Last Day)” so it is abundantly clear.
I hope you find this tool useful, I know I look forward to receiving these automated data feeds. It’s less homework to track down this information and I’m all about saving time. Additionally I’m able to be proactive if a good investment opportunity comes up because of a different payment amount. Currently this tool will be offered to paid users only, I may open it up to free users. If I do, it will be ad supported and limited like the main stock alert tool is.