Whether you just opened your first brokerage account or have been investing for years, you must own at least one dividend-paying stock because they far outperform non-dividend-paying stocks over the long term. With this in mind, let’s take a look at three stocks with yields up to 8.9% that you should consider buying today.

1. Torstar Corporation: 8.9% yield

Torstar Corporation (TSX:TS.B) is one of the largest media companies in Canada, publishing books, newspapers, and digital media. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.13125 per share, or $0.525 per share annually, giving its stock an 8.9% yield at today’s levels. The company has not increased its dividend since May 2012, but it ended the first quarter of fiscal 2015 with $231.2 million in cash, an increase of 1,137.6% from the year-ago period, so I think it could announce an increase or a special dividend in the very near future.

2. TransAlta Corporation: 7.3% yield

TransAlta Corporation (TSX:TA)(NYSE:TAC) is one of the largest power generators and wholesale marketers of electricity in North America and Australia. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.18 per share, or $0.72 per share annually, which gives its stock a 7.3% yield at current levels. It is also important to note that the company lowered its dividend by 37.9% in February 2014 as a result of lower power prices and unplanned outages, but I think a strong operational performance in 2015 could allow it to increase its dividend back to the previous rate.

3. Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.: 4.05% yield

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (TSX:AQN) is one of the largest operators of regulated and non-regulated utilities in North America. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.09625 per share, or $0.385 per share annually, giving its stock a 4.05% yield at today’s levels. The company has also increased its annual dividend payment for six consecutive years, and it has a long-term goal of increasing its dividend by 10% annually, making it one of the top dividend-growth plays in the market today.

Which of these top dividend stocks belong in your portfolio?

Torstar, TransAlta, and Algonquin Power are three of the top dividend stocks in the market today. All long-term investors should take a closer look and strongly consider establishing positions in one or more of them.

Want 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.