I read that as long as I hold a stock for two business days, I will get a dividend? What if I make multiple trades for one stock. For example, if I buy 20 shares and sell 20 two days later, then I buy 30 shares and sell 30. How much in dividends will I get if it is $1/share?
Dividends are commonly given various dates such as announcement date, ex-date, record date and payment date. It's all a bit confusing for traders, especially with certain types of special dividends that have different rules from ordinary dividends.
The only period relevant to receiving a dividend (on the payment date) is the trading day prior to the ex-date. This is sometimes known as the "entitlement date".
If you have purchased the stock at or prior to the close of trade on the entitlement date (and still hold it) at the close of trade on that date you will be paid the dividend. If you have multiple purchases (and even a few sales in-between) this is all incorporated - it's the total number of shares that you hold at the close of trade on the entitlement date that counts.
Any purchases on or after the ex-date are not entitled to the dividend.
For a trader, the record date is irrelevant. It is only used by the share registries to determine who owns the stock on ex-date -1 trading day. Rules regarding record dates have changed over the years too, with settlement periods such as T+5, T+3, T+2 and T+1 and variations from country-to-country making strict day-based rules difficult.
You can sell the stock any time on the ex-date or any date thereafter and still receive the dividend.