When do you have to purchase a stock in order to get the dividend? -- S.J.Gregg Greenberg: There are two dates to keep in mind when determining whether you are entitled to a company's stock or cash dividend: the "record date" and the "ex-dividend date."
I own a few stocks that have not participated in the recent market rally. I'm pretty sure they are good companies and good stocks. Should I be concerned? -- T.B. Hey, it's hard not to be concerned when your stocks don't rally along with the rest of a bull market. It's kind of like going to a casino and watching everybody else have a great time as they rake in the chips, while you just sit there breaking even. But unlike betting in a casino, where the longer you stay at the tables the more likely you are to lose your cash, investing in good stocks for the long term will more often than not pay off handsomely. P/> If you see your stocks are not joining in the market's reindeer games, the first thing you should do is find out why. Maybe your beloved stock is not as good as you originally believed. So the first step is to review its financials and do some homework. Once you've done your due diligence and feel even more confident that you are right and the market is wrong, then you may consider buying some more shares at these depressed prices. If your stock is as good as you believe, then you will have a lot more shares to profit from when it finally comes around.