I was asked recently by a co-worker, “what is a dividend?” after having a brief discussion on investing and the like. I had never really thought that this was unknown knowledge to certain people. I take for granted, in my studios nature of observing investments, that the term “dividend” is well known and generally fairly obvious. I was proven today that my thinking was incorrect and naive. I would like to try to explain today what exactly a dividend is.
Per Investopedia, a dividend is:
A distribution of a portion of a company’s earnings, decided by the board of directors, to a class of its shareholders. The dividend is most often quoted in terms of the dollar amount each share receives (dividends per share). It can also be quoted in terms of a percent of the current market price, referred to as dividend yield.