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What does Ex-Dividend mean?

I probably should know this but am confused by it. I have been investing for years but when I go to purchase a stock it  says an ex-dividend date. Any ideas? My first thought it was something like going ex-directory but that can't be it.

Great question and one that is confusing. This is all about the timing you need to have been invested in a company to receive the next dividend. More info :

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