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The word "distribution" has several meanings in the financial world, most of them pertaining to the payment of assets from a fund, account, or individual security to an investor or beneficiary.

Retirement account distributions are among the most common and are required after the account holder reaches a certain age. A distribution also refers to a company's or a mutual fund's payment of stock, cash, and other payouts to its shareholders.

Distributions come from several different financial products; however, whatever the source, the distribution payment usually goes directly to the beneficiary, either electronically or by check.

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