Did you know that you can get paid simply for owning a share of a company? If you weren't aware, it's time to get acquainted with dividends. These are regular payments normally paid twice a year that are distributed by a company (at its management's discretion) to its shareholders on a per share basis. Before you go wild and pour your life's savings into dividend-producing stocks to get your hands on some of that free money, bear in mind that big dividends are not always sustainable. Companies can decide based on their analysis that it doesn't want to pay dividends.