the confusing part is when they give you the date of record ownership and this is after exdividend from 2 to 3 days. it is harder to figure so use the exdividend date, and posters that said you had to own it at close yesterday are correct.
Sorry, but you're mistaken. You MUST already own the stock BEFORE it goes ex-dividend if you want the dividend. If you buy it ON the ex-dividend date, you DO NOT get the dividend. Conversely, if you sell the stock ON the ex-dividend date, you DO get the dividend. Keep in mind that you are responsible for PAYING the dividend if you are short a stock on the ex-dividend date. In theory, the stock is "marked down" by the amount of the dividend on the ex-dividend date, but the market takes care of that. The published net change for the day will reflect the amount of the dividend on the ex-dividend date. It's fairly simple, but many people are confused by ex-dividend. "Ex-" dates also apply to distributions such as splits, rights, warrants, spin-offs, etc. If you're a mutual fund investor, it's wise to be aware of when your fund will make year-end distributions of dividends and capital gains to shareholders. In that case, you DO NOT want to buy right before the ex-distribution date. To do so, you will be liable for the income tax on the distribution even if you have your distributions reinvested - as most people do. That means that you would have to pay tax on your own money. Always wait until right after the the year-end distribution (unless it's tax-sheltered as in an IRA, Roth IRA, etc.) before making your investment. The fund will usually provide that date if you ask.