As savvy investors know, dividend-paying stocks far outperform non-dividend-paying stocks over the long term. It is for this reason that all long-term investors should own at least one dividend-paying stock, and depending on your age, investment goals, and risk tolerance, maybe even a diversified portfolio full of them. With this in mind, let’s take a look at three stocks with yields up to 4.8% that you could buy today.

1. Laurentian Bank of Canada: 4.8% yield

Laurentian Bank of Canada (TSX:LB) is one of the largest financial institutions in Canada. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.56 per share, or $2.24 per share annually, giving its stock a 4.8% yield at today’s levels. Investors should also note that the company has increased its annual dividend payment for seven consecutive years, and its consistent free cash flow generation and financial stability could allow this streak to continue for another seven years at least.

2. North West Company Inc.: 4.2% yield

North West Company Inc. (TSX:NWC) is one of the leading retailers to underserved rural communities and urban neighborhood markets in North America. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.29 per share, or $1.16 per share annually, giving its stock a 4.2% yield at current levels. The company has also increased its annual dividend payment for three consecutive years, and its strong operational performance could allow for another increase in the second half of this year.

3. Boralex Inc.: 4% 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, giving its stock a 4% yield at today’s levels. It is also worth noting that the company has maintained this quarterly rate since it first began paying a dividend in the first quarter of 2014, but its very strong financial performance in the first half of fiscal 2015 could allow for a significant increase in the very near future.

Which of these stocks should you buy today?

Laurentian Bank, North West Company, and Boralex represent three of the top dividend-paying investment opportunities in their respective industries. All Foolish investors should take a closer look and strongly consider beginning to scale in to positions in at least one of them today.

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