Tuesday, 7 April 2015

UK ex dividend dates for FTSE 100 Market stocks in April- Will I buy or not?

The UK stocks and shares ISA can be topped up again with the maximum holding and therefore I am looking for dividend stocks to boost my portfolio. I have decided to invest in stocks that are due to pay dividends sooner rather than later so I researched those with ex dividend dates in April. It can be hard to track down such stocks without visiting each individual company’s accounts but I am fortunate to have a list of my own which can be seen below.

I like to focus on respectable companies with a history of paying dividends so I focus on the FTSE 100 market stocks. I will consider each stock in turn mentioning the ex dividend date as well as the current share price and expected dividend per share. This is beneficial for me because it lets me home in on stocks that I might like to invest in.

Aviva, stock ticker AV is a life insurance stock with an ex dividend date of 8th April so you need to buy tomorrow if you want to take a share of the dividends. This particular stock is currently priced at 561 pence which represents a rise of 8 pence on the day’s trading. Back in January it was priced at under 475 pence so I guess then would have been the perfect time to buy into this stock. As it stands the ex dividend date is far too close and I will not be buying any Aviva shares. I do anticipate a slight rise in SP tomorrow again to reflect the fact that this is the last day to buy in to get dividends. For those that do wish to buy you can enjoy 12.25 pence dividend for each stock you hold

Friends Life Group, FLG, is another life insurance stock which might end up being taken over by Aviva if rumours are to be believed. This stock has also risen in price recently and is currently trading at 430 pence. January was a good time to buy in when shares were trading at 351 pence. This stock has an ex dividend date of 9th April and pays 24.10 pence per share. Here again I feel it is too close to ex dividend date to invest as the share price has already risen.

BAE Systems, BA is in the aerospace and defense industry. It is currently priced at 528.50 pence and has an ex dividend date of 16th April so you still have another week to purchase this particular stock to receive a dividend of 12.30 pence per share. This stock reached a 1 year high recently on the 20th March and I expect it to reach this share price again approaching it’s ex dividend date. I have absolutely no experience with the aerospace industry and this is what puts me off buying this particular stock. I do think I should do some reading around this particular company and see if I can convince myself to invest. I could start off with a small investment initially I guess. You know what they something is better than nothing.

If you are planning on investing a few thousand into a share with an upcoming ex dividend date this April you might want to consider the company, Reckitt Benckiser, RB which has a share price of 5960 pence and an ex dividend date of 16th April. Do not let the price put you off as this particular stock pays a hefty 79 pence per share. You would definitely need to purchase a sizeable number of shares to make your investment worthwhile. Ten shares would cost you almost £600 (in fact over it counting trading fees) and pay you a dividend of £7.90.

If media shares are your thing you may want an investment in TV channel ITV which is also part of the FTSE 100. It is more affordable at a share price of 257 pence, than some of the other stocks I have considered here. With an ex dividend date at the end of the month you have plenty of time to think about this. The dividends are reasonable at 9.55 pence per share. Compared to RB you could buy 233 of these shares for £600 and receive a dividend of £22.50 which is a better yield and might appeal to those with smaller amounts of cash to invest. This is definitely a possibility for me. I could reinvest the dividend and receive 8 or so shares in return. I will have to explore this company further.

Remember the ex dividend date is the last day to buy a share in one of these stocks to gain a dividend. The share price of these stocks rises around this date so I would suggest buying a few weeks in advance so that you can a better price. Market timing is extremely important and can strongly influence your profits or lack of them. If you are only planning on holding the stock for a short period of time then it may not be worth your while to purchase so close to the ex dividend date. Why pay a higher share price if you are only planning on short term trading? Buying close to the ex dividend date is perfect for those that wish to hold a stock for a long period of time and for those that are planning on reinvesting all their dividends. I have already started this process with Royal Mail Group and will continue with it when I receive my next round of dividends in July.

Will I buy some of these stocks mentioned? Well that depends on a few different things mainly my other expenses this month. Firstly I should mention that I am due to go off on maternity leave in three months and therefore I will have less spare cash (and time) to invest so I need to be sensible with the investments I am making now. Secondly my husband and I are planning on buying a beautiful new home and I have promised him a sizeable deposit from my cash ISA (I hate spending money that I have saved hard for but the new home will be worth it and at least we are increasing our assets, not to mention renting out the home we are currently living in- it all makes for a better retirement). Finally I have a flashing red alarm on my car, and of course my warranty has just expired meaning I will have to cough up for any expenses. However I had saved £950 for an investment in stocks which I never got around to spending so I may save some of this for my upcoming expenses and perhaps put the rest into one of the stocks above.

I will keep you all informed as to what company I have decided to invest in. If you have smaller amounts of cash to invest and cannot take advantage of buying stocks I will be back with a post on how to use a stock’s ex dividend date to make money.

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