There are three cycle for the companies that pay quarterly. They are:
Cycle 1: January, April, July, October
Cycle 2: February, May, August, November
Cycle 3: March, June, September, December
Some companies pay monthly, especially the old income trust companies, but there are fewer and fewer of these. A few pay semi-annually. Some companies are consistent in what months their dividends are paid, some are not.
Click here to get the table of payment cycles for the stock I cover. You can use your mouse to high light a line (i.e. the stock, symbol and corresponding Dividend Payment Cycle (DP)). The table lists the stocks by name in the first section and by Cycle in the second section.
When you are getting your income from dividends, a lot of people want to have their income spread out evenly over the months. This is hard to do as most dividends are paid in cycle 1. Also even within cycles some are paid near the first of the cycle, some in the middle and other at the end.
I do record a stocks dividend cycle, but some stocks do not keep to a particular cycle, so this can cause some confusion. The thing is, some companies pick a cycle and stay with it. Others do not. A company may pay some dividends in cycle 1 and some in cycle 2. Some may pay in Cycles 2 or 3. Some may pay in cycle 3 or 1. If a company pays dividends sometimes in Cycle 3 and sometimes in cycle 1, you can get a situation where one year has 3 dividends and the next year has 5 dividends. However, you do get all your dividends in the end.
I personally do not bother with this. Each December I draw up a budget and I figure out how much I will draw each month from dividends for the following year. I put money in an ING account in December each year. Near the end of each month I put that pre-determined monthly amount in my chequing account. The ING account is used when my dividends in my Trading account is not enough for my monthly withdrawal.
On my other blog I am today writing Royal Bank of Canada (TSX-RY, NYSE-RY)...continue...
This blog is meant for educational purposes only, and is not to provide investment advice. Before making any investment decision, you should always do your own research or consult an investment professional. See my site for an index to these blog entries and for stocks followed. Follow me on Twitter.