The Motley Fool

3 Top Dividend Stocks You Should Buy Today

One of the most important facts all investors should know about investing is that 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 and investment goals, maybe a diversified portfolio full of them. With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the top dividend-paying stocks that you should consider establishing positions in today.

1. Fortis Inc.: 3.45% yield

Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) is one of North America’s largest electric and gas utilities companies, and it pays a quarterly dividend of $0.34 per share, or $1.36 per share annually, which gives its stock a very generous 3.45% yield at today’s levels. In addition, the company has increased its annual dividend payment for 42 consecutive years, the record for a public corporation in Canada, and its consistent free cash flow growth could allow this streak to continue for many more years.

2. Whitecap Resources Inc.: 5.05% yield

Whitecap Resources Inc. (TSX:WCP) is one of the largest producers of crude oil and natural gas in Canada, and it pays a monthly dividend of $0.0625 per share, or $0.75 per share annually, which gives its stock a very high 5.05% yield at current levels. There has been speculation that lower commodity prices would force oil and gas producers to reduce their dividends, but Whitecap achieved record earnings, revenue, and production in its fourth quarter ending in December 2014, so I think its dividend is 100% safe for the time being.

3. Canadian Western Bank: 2.8% yield

Canadian Western Bank (TSX:CWB) is the 10th largest bank in Canada in terms of total assets, and it pays a quarterly dividend of $0.21 per share, or $0.84 per share annually, which gives its stock a 2.8% yield at current levels. Although Canadian Western has the lowest yield of the three companies provided in this article, it is important to note that it has increased its dividend nine times since 2010, and it is in the banking industry, which is considered by most to be the most financially stable industry in Canada.

Which of these three dividend stocks belong in your portfolio?

Fortis, Whitecap Resources, and Canadian Western Bank represent three of the top dividend investment opportunities in the market. Foolish investors should take a closer look and consider buying at least one of them today.

Just Released! 5 Stocks Under $49 (FREE REPORT)

Motley Fool Canada's market-beating team has just released a brand-new FREE report revealing 5 "dirt cheap" stocks that you can buy today for under $49 a share.
Our team thinks these 5 stocks are critically undervalued, but more importantly, could potentially make Canadian investors who act quickly a fortune.
Don't miss out! Simply click the link below to grab your free copy and discover all 5 of these stocks now.

Claim your FREE 5-stock report now!

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

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

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss an important event.

Iain Butler and the Stock Advisor Canada team only publish their new “buy alerts” twice a month, and only to an exclusively small group.

This is your chance to get in early on what could prove to be very special investment advice.

Enter your email address below to get started now, and join the other thousands of Canadians who have already signed up for their chance to get the market-beating advice from Stock Advisor Canada.