One of the most widely known facts about investing is that dividend-paying stocks far outperform their non-dividend-paying counterparts over the long term. With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the top dividend-paying stocks that you should consider investing in today.

1. Arc Resources Ltd.: 5.4% yield

Arc Resources Ltd. (TSX:ARX) is one of the largest conventional oil and gas producers in Canada, and it currently pays a monthly dividend of $0.10 per share, or $1.20 per share annually, which gives its stock a very high 5.4% yield. There has been speculation that lower commodity prices would force oil producers to cut their dividends, but Arc actually achieved higher profitability and sales, and record production in its most recent quarter, so there is no doubt in my mind that its dividend is safe.

2. Telus Corporation: 3.8% yield

Telus Corporation (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU) is one of Canada’s three-largest telecommunication companies, and it pays a quarterly dividend of $0.40 per share, or $1.60 per share annually, and this gives its stock a bountiful 3.8% yield at current levels. The company has also increased its dividend 15 times since 2004, and its consistent free cash flow generation could allow for another increase in the near future.

3. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.: 2.5% yield

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (TSX:SNC) is one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies, and it pays a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share, or $1.00 per share annually, which gives its stock a 2.5% yield at today’s levels. A 2.5% yield is not high by any means, but it is very important to note that the company has increased its annual dividend for 15 consecutive years, and I think this makes it one of the best dividend growth plays in its industry.

Which of these three dividend dynamos belong in your portfolio?

Arc Resources, Telus Corporation, and SNC-Lavalin Group represent three of the top dividend investment opportunities in the market today. Foolish investors should take a closer look and strongly consider buying one of them.

Want three more top dividend stock picks?

These three top stocks have delivered dividends for shareholders for decades (and even centuries!). Check out our special FREE report: "3 Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever." Click here now to get the full story!


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Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.