Dividend Frequency

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DEFINITION of 'Dividend Frequency'

How often a dividend is paid by an individual stock or fund. The most common dividend frequencies are annually, biannually and quarterly.

There are no uniform calendar dates for when dividends are paid; it depends on the individual company's fiscal calendar. Special or one-time dividends are not measured in terms of their frequency because they only appear sporadically.

BREAKING DOWN 'Dividend Frequency'

While the dividend rate of a security (such as a common stock) may be in constant flux, the dividend frequency will rarely change.

Most equity investors are used to receiving quarterly dividends for the stocks that have instituted a dividend. Monthly dividends, although uncommon, can also be found, typically in securities or funds with extremely dependable cash flows.