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Finance Glossary

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Ex-Date

Definition:

Sort of like JDate, only with exes as the entire dating population.

Oh, ex-date also refers to the deadline for when an investor has to buy a stock to get the dividend. You have to own the stock by a certain date, which the company declares in advance, to get the dividend. But when you buy a stock, you don't buy it instantly. There's a settlement process before you take ownership of the stock—and in the U.S., settlement occurs two days after the trade. If you buy after the ex-dividend date, you won't receive the dividend; the seller will. 

Example

If the record date is October 15, you have to actually buy the stock on or before October 13. If you don't, you won't "own" the stock on October 15—which is known as the "ex-dividend" date.