That's when real money is made during market fear. Like BAC now at $6.30. Bank America will be double or triple in price in 2-3 years; easy money when they work out of their problems with CountryWide, Merrill, and the AIG lawsuit is dismissed.
Big dividend play like FFC always trade lower on ex dividend date. It doesn't matter since you get the dividend in a couple of days. By the, the NAV will start rising again with a recovery in the price of all the banged up preferred stocks.
I always like adding to my position 1 or 2 days after they go ex dividend. That's usually when they take off again.