teclark, what you say is correct because it takes three days for the stock purchase to settle. But you may want to add that an investor has to buy the stock the day before it goes x-dividend in order to collect the dividend. The x-dividend date is always the second business day prior to the record date. For example, ACG went x-dividend on October 31 and the record date was November 2. One would have had to buy the shares on October 30 to collect the dividend.
Buying the stock to "capture" the dividend has no basis. If a dividend is declared of $.10, ex-dividend day the stock price is REDUCED by the NYSE by the amount of the dividend...so what's the purpose of chasing them just before ex date?
it is just that: another issue. My procedure clarification was in response to a poster who seemed to be asking "by when do I have to buy a stock to collect the dividend?" You seem to be addressing the wisdom or timing of such a purchase for the reason you stated. The answer to that poster is very simple; To collect the dividend buy the stock the business day before it goes x-dividend.
flipper_58 - You are correct that buying the stock to capture the dividend is not a good idea which is what I meant about not recommending this strategy. However, I don't think the NYSE itself actually reduces the stocks price by the dividend amount. It is the market itself that does it and it is often hidden in the normal market movement of the stock.