A stock trading ex-dividend means it is trading without dividend rights. In the dividend cycle, a company declaring it will pay a dividend will set a record date. The record date is the date by which an investor has to be a registered shareholder in order to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date will be set one day before the record date. Investors buying shares on or after the ex-dividend date will not have dividend rights; those dividend rights accrue to the seller. But the ex-dividend buyer will benefit from a lower stock price as shares do trade lower once they go ex-dividend – typically by the amount of the dividend.