market, even if it doesn't go up. Read Dividend Capture, the bestselling book that teaches you how to trade high dividend paying stocks to capture their dividend amounts. Learn how you can get large dividends paid to you several times every week. This is a solid, low risk, market neutal strategy that professionals have always used, and it works if your goal is consistent wealth building. At the online book retailers.
You need to buy and hold a stock through the end of the regular session on the ex-dividend date. You can sell it anytime afterwards and still get the dividend, usually a month later. Personally, I wouldn't recommend it. You have to consider the broker fees, the fact that stock prices usually decline when they go ex-dividend, plus the fact that dividends are taxed at a higher rate than capital gains. That is why many companies buy back their stock instead of paying dividends. Buy-backs increase the stock price, giving stock owners a better benefit.