I have been searching all over and cannot seem to find the answer to the question, either I do not understand dividends or I am not asking the question correctly.

Take the S&P 500

According to:


The current dividend amount was $47.22 for June.

If I invested $10,000 at the start of June at the price per share of $2,430 that would get me 4 shares from the S&P 500

Does that mean I would have gotten a payout of $188.88 at the end of June?

Does the S&P 500 pay Dividends monthly?

  • 1
    From your link: "12-month real dividend per share — June 2017 dollars." Holding for 1 month doesn't yield 12 months worth of dividend.
    – Hart CO
    Aug 1, 2017 at 17:10
  • Yes I am aware of that, My question is 2 parts 1. do I understand dividends correctly and 2. does the S&P 500 pay monthly dividends? Aug 1, 2017 at 17:12
  • @HartCO sorry being hard headed here, I'm still not understanding, I know what the link says, however if you look down the list it shows a monthly breakdown Jun 30, 2017 - $47.22, May 31, 2017 - $46.98, Apr 30, 2017 - $46.74 so on, Are you saying that if I would had invested in June of 2016 I would have gotten a dividend pay out of $188.88 June of 2017? Aug 1, 2017 at 17:20
  • Correct, the 'monthly' section represents a rolling 12-month yield period up to the month you're looking at, annual dividend yield for SP500 is ~1.9%. You'll notice if you click the 'by year' the amounts don't go up significantly, it's just showing fewer 12-month periods.
    – Hart CO
    Aug 1, 2017 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


The S&P 500 is an index, you can't buy shares of an index, but you can find index funds to invest in. Each company in that fund that pays dividends will do so on their own schedule, and the fund you've invested in will either distribute dividends or accumulate them (re-invest), this is pre-defined, not something they'd decide quarter to quarter. If the fund distributes dividends, they will likely combine the dividends they receive and distribute to you quarterly.

The value you've referenced represents the total annual dividend across the index, dividend yield for S&P500 is currently ~1.9%, so if you invested $10,000 a year ago in a fund that matched the S&P 500, you'd have ~$190 in dividend yield.


Hart's answer regarding the difference between an index and a stock aside, remember that dividend yield is a passive measure. It takes the announced dividend (which is a $/share amount) and divides it by the current market price.

So you can't assume that if you buy a stock that had a dividend yield of 4% for $100 that you're guaranteed 4% of the stock price in dividends. If the price of the stock doubles, you'd still get $4, but the yield would drop to 2%. Or the company could reduce (or even suspend) its dividends, which would reduce the yield if the stock price stayed flat.

For an index like the S&P, it's easier to measure dividends on % yield terms rather then $/share terms since you'd have to own shares in every single company to get that amount, but on average the stocks in the S&P 500 pay X% in dividends (which are typically quarterly) - some pay more than that, some less, and some none at all.

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