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What are dividends, and how/when do I get them?

What are dividends?

In simple terms, dividends are payments made by a company to its shareholders. These are usually a distribution of profits.

Some investors have the perception that dividends come with each investment choice they make, which is not necessarily the case. 

There are various online resources available to view which companies are currently scheduled to pay dividends to shareholders. One of these is Sharenet, who publishes a market calendar here. Select the drop down option and then select “Dividends-LTD” (this is the last day to trade date to be eligible for the dividend) or “Dividends-PAY” (payment date for eligible shareholders).

If you have invested in a dividend-paying company, how will you know when you’ve received dividends?

When dividends are distributed on EasyEquities, funds are paid into the investors’ available funds. Thereafter, investors can reinvest the funds, let them accrue interest, or withdraw them into their bank accounts.

Should you wish to see what dividends have been paid to you over a period of time, the most efficient way is to run a report over the date range required, download the report to Microsoft Excel, and then sort/filter to get all the line items that are dividend related. See this FAQ article here on how to run a report.

How do I work out what my dividend pay out will be?

When dividends are being paid out to shareholders the values presented on announcements, obtained from sources such as (JSE SENS, Business Live SENS), may be in the following format:

x.xxxxx ZAC | xx.xxxxx ZAC

To work out the total dividends pay out in Rx.xx format:
Divide the dividends pay-out (as stated on announcement ) by 100.
This will give the initial dividends in Rx.xx format.

For example:
A dividends pay out is stated as 1.5c per share.
1.5/100 = R0.015 per share not R1.50 as may be initially assumed.

Sometimes if you don’t see an expected dividends pay out in your account, it may be because of your settings. Always keep in mind that a dividends pay out is on a per-share basis. The more shares you own, the more dividends you receive.

Dividends can be paid either as a cash distribution into your free cash, or you can set your dividends to automatically re-invest. The default option is usually a cash payment, however you can change this in your EasyEquities profile settings, under account preferences.


Declared Date
Date the dividends were declared.

The Ex-Date is the date after the Last Day to Trade (LDT). This is the date that confirms when the share starts trading excluding dividends. If you purchase shares on/after this date you wouldn't be included in the dividend payout.

This is the last day you could purchase or would need to be holding the instrument in order to be eligible for the dividend distribution. 

Payable Date
This is the date the fund will pay a dividend.

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