To Start, storytime:
Around the time all this GME stuff started going on, I received 30 bucks in my retirement account. It was listed as a Dividend Deposit from my SPY stocks. Confused I started looking into what dividends were, and after a few weeks of reading, and losing some money in meme stocks, I decided to both share what I learned, and also start a running month-by-month log of my investments. I'll link everything I use as a resource at the bottom.
First off: What are dividends?
A dividend is a dollar-value amount, paid in time intervals, per stock you own in a company. To break down what that really means, let's look at a popular Dividend Stock: AT&T, Ticker Symbol: T