Interest rates are at a record low 1.75%, and they could be headed to zero over the next five years – at least according to one analyst. While I hope we won’t see any of that insanity domestically, there’s also no need to freak out when there’s a number of great dividend and growth opportunities out there right now.

Here are three of my favourites:

G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) – P/E of 15, yields 6.2% fully franked

G8 shares have enjoyed a recovery recently as investors realise the sky isn’t about to fall in on the stock. Management’s decision to slow the pace of acquisitions and start organising its debt likely played a part in the market’s renewed confidence, although G8 is still an attractive opportunity today. With high demand, capable management and government support for the childcare industry, G8’s earnings are solid and the company has a sustainable balance sheet.

There is room for earnings improvement through lifting occupancy and building reputation among customers, while the 6.2% dividend yield – paid quarterly – will be very enticing to dividend investors.

Thorn Group Ltd (ASX: TGA) – P/E of 11, yields 8% fully franked

There’s a little additional uncertainty to Thorn compared to G8, as a result of its recent profit downgrade and its annual report this morning. Fortunately, most of its closure expenses are ‘non-cash’ and will affect ‘statutory profit’, but not the actual money that the business makes. So while Thorn’s earnings have fallen, management has maintained the dividend by temporarily exceeding the group’s recommended payout levels.

With a re-allocation of resources to the key consumer leasing and business finance areas, Thorn is in a good position to maintain or increase its earnings in the future, which will underpin its fantastic dividend today.

(You can find more information on Thorn Group in our coverage of its annual report, here)

Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX) – P/E of 43, yields 0.8% fully franked

Don’t be put off by the high Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio and miniscule dividend – Sirtex is a high-quality business with a significant amount of growth ahead. At present, the company estimates it sells to less than 2% of its addressable market. Once you consider expansion to new regions, as witnessed by recent regulatory approval in Canada, it’s easy to see how this number might grow. Sirtex has a decent amount of cash at bank, no debt, and pays just half of its earned cash out as dividends – reinvesting the rest.

As research accumulates to support the company’s liver cancer therapy, the medical case for using SIR-Spheres strengthens, and Sirtex can expect to sell more treatments. With tailwinds like these, the company looks like a decent growth purchase at today’s prices.

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Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill owns shares of G8 Education Limited, Sirtex Medical Limited, and Thorn Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.