One of the most well-known facts about investing is that dividend-paying stocks far outperform their non-dividend-paying counterparts over the long term when investors participate in a dividend reinvestment program. It is for this reason that every long-term investor should own at least one dividend-paying stock, and depending on your age and investment goals, maybe a diversified portfolio full of them. With this in mind, let’s take a look at three stocks with yields of at least 3.6% that you should consider buying today.

1. Peyto Exploration & Development Corp.: 4.1% yield

Peyto Exploration & Development Corp. (TSX:PEY) is one of the largest explorers and producers of unconventional natural gas in Alberta, Canada. It pays a monthly dividend of $0.11 per share, or $1.32 per share annually, giving its stock a 4.1% yield at today’s levels. The company has also increased its annual dividend payment for three consecutive years, and as long as natural gas prices recover over the next few months, I think this streak could continue in 2016.

2. Boralex Inc.: 3.9% yield

Boralex Inc. (TSX:BLX) is one of the leading producers of renewable energy in Canada, the United States, and France. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.13 per share, or $0.52 per share annually, which gives its stock a 3.9% yield at current levels. It is also worth noting that the company has maintained this quarterly payment since it first began paying a dividend in March 2014, but its strong operational performance could allow for an increase in the second half of this year.

3. Sun Life Financial Inc.: 3.6% yield

Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX:SLF)(NYSE:SLF) is one of the world’s largest financial services organizations and the 13th-largest life insurer by market capitalization. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.38 per share, or $1.52 per share annually, giving its stock a 3.6% yield at today’s levels. Investors should also note that the company increased its dividend by 5.6% in May as a result of its financial stability and increased free cash flow, and I think this could become an ongoing theme over the next several years.

Should you buy one of these dividend payers today?

Peyto, Boralex, and Sun Life represent three of the most attractive dividend-paying investment opportunities in the market. Foolish investors should strongly consider beginning to scale in to long-term positions in at least one of them today.

Want three more of our top dividend stock picks? These three 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.