With many stocks hitting new lows for the year, October may not seem like the best time to start investing. But there are still loads of worthwhile investment opportunities for patient investors today, especially when it comes to dividend stocks.

Since dividend yields tend to have an inverse relationship with a stock's pricing, today's bear market means many dividend stocks with reliable businesses (and profits) are offering highly elevated yields. If you are on the hunt for reliable income and long-term growth opportunities, here are three dividend stocks that stand out as top buys this October. 

1. Blackstone: Alternative assets drive its dividend growth

Alternative assets -- things like real estate, private equity, public and private debt, and cryptocurrencies -- have seen a major surge in investment dollars over the last few years. The growing interest in them is related to recent stock market volatility and high inflation. The alternative assets boom is likely just beginning given the escalation in economic uncertainty.

That's great news for Blackstone (BX 0.92%), one of the largest alternative asset managers in the world. The company manages investments for institutional investors, hedge funds, insurance companies, and other private investment firms, earning fees for the assets it manages. Today, its assets under management are valued at around $941 billion, a 38% increase from last year. And that number is expected to continue growing.

Aside from being extremely well funded, with $10 billion in cash on hand and a manageable dividend payout ratio of 85%, Blackstone Group is offering a 6.15% dividend yield today, while still holding massive long-term stock price growth opportunities.

2. Alexandria Real Estate Equities: Business is booming

Decreased demand for office space since the onset of the pandemic left many office real estate investment trusts (REITs) in a tough place. But that wasn't the case for office REIT Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE 1.26%), which specializes in the leasing of medical, tech, and life sciences office buildings.

In fact, for this REIT, business is booming. Life science demand has skyrocketed in recent years. The complexity of developing properties that meet rules and regulations for this industry means supply is limited.

2022 saw three of the highest quarters for leasing activity in the company's history, while rental rates grew by 45%. Its portfolio of roughly 41 million square feet of high-quality, Class A life science-focused office space was 94.6% occupied as of the second quarter of 2022. That's far better than the national average office occupancy rate of 84%. And Alexandria Real Estate Equities still has 7.8 million square feet of new space under development, which will undoubtedly help the company grow its revenue in the future.

Right now its dividend yield isn't super high at just under 3.5%, but it is reliable. The company has grown its dividends around 6.8% on average for the past 10 years and its payout ratio is roughly 56%, meaning dividend growth in the future is likely.

3. W.P.Carey: Built for stability with a track record of growth

W. P. Carey (WPC 1.43%) is a diversified net lease REIT, meaning it owns and leases a wide variety of real estate properties like self-storage facilities, industrial warehouses, office space, and retail properties across the United States and Europe.

The net lease business is super reliable. Aside from operating on super long lease terms (10 years or longer) it passes most of the property's expenses to the tenant and uses built-in rent escalators to consistently grow revenue streams.

This reliability is what's allowed W.P. Carey to grow its dividend for 25 straight years. The company's dividend yield is currently around 6% with its payout ratio well within the healthy range for a REIT at 80%. While annual growth may not be huge, it is one of the most reliable dividend-paying stocks out there that can bring investors stability and high yields.