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

1. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: 4.4% yield

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM)(NYSE:CM) is the fifth-largest bank in Canada in terms of total assets, and it pays a quarterly dividend of $1.06 per share, or $4.24 per share annually, giving its stock a very high 4.4% yield at current levels. The company has also raised its dividend seven times in the last four years, which shows that it is strongly dedicated to maximizing shareholder returns, and its consistent free cash flow generation could enable another increase in fiscal 2015.

2. Emera Inc.: 3.9% yield

Emera Inc. (TSX:EMA) is one of North America’s largest electric utilities companies, and it pays a quarterly dividend of $0.40 per share, or $1.60 per share annually, which gives its stock a generous 3.9% yield at today’s levels. Emera has also shown a strong dedication to increasing its dividend, as it has done so nine times since 2008, and 2015 marks the first year of its recently announced five-year plan to grow its dividend by 6% or more annually.

3. AutoCanada Inc.: 2.5% yield

AutoCanada Inc. (TSX:ACQ) is one of Canada’s largest automobile dealers, and it pays a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share, or $1.00 per share annually, giving its stock a 2.5% yield at current levels. A 2.5% yield may not seem impressive at first, but it is very important to note that the company has increased its dividend 15 times in the last 16 quarters, and I think this makes it one of the top dividend growth plays in the market today.

Which of these top dividend stocks should you buy today?

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Emera, and AutoCanada represent three of the market’s top dividend investment opportunities today. All long-term investors should take a closer look and strongly consider initiating positions in at least one of them.

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