I'm having difficulty figuring out how long I would have to hold a stock to be paid the dividend. Is it really as simple as buying the stock on the in-dividend day (the day prior to ex-dividend) and selling it on the following day (ex-dividend)? Please forgive me I'm trying to garnish all of the information I can, but none of the literature online that I've seen has been very specific. I've checked out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dividend#Dividend_Dates http://www.sec.gov/answers/dividen.htm I'm really not sure what the point of the 'Record date/Date of Record' is. Unless it has to something to do with the settlement date.. If you prefer, maybe it's easier to answer which of the following scenarios will result in a dividend payment. 1) Buy the stock prior to ex-dividend date and hold through the date of record. 2) Buy the stock prior to ex-dividend date and sell the stock the following business day on the ex-dividend date. 3) Buy the stock prior to ex-dividend date, sell calls against the position, all of the shares are called away after the close. Any information anyone would be willing to offer would be most appreciated. Thanks for your time.