I just started my preparation for CFA Level I exam. I need help in choosing the right financial calculator. Below are my options, could some one please list the pros & cons of these and suggest the best one. Price is a not a factor for me. * HP 12c - Special Edition cost is US$ 99.99 * HP 17BII - Cost is US$ 109.99 * Texas Instruments BAII PLUS - Cost is US$ 59.99 Thanks

I am very happy with my BAII Plus. No cons. caesar.optimist Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I just started my preparation for CFA Level I > exam. > > I need help in choosing the right financial > calculator. > > Below are my options, could some one please list > the pros & cons of these and suggest the best one. > Price is a not a factor for me. > > > * HP 12c - Special Edition cost is US$ 99.99 > > * HP 17BII - Cost is US$ 109.99 > > * Texas Instruments BAII PLUS - Cost is US$ 59.99 > > Thanks

The BA II Plus Financial Calculator cost $31.99 at Best Buy. The professional is a little more, but the cheaper version has everything you need (and more) for all 3 levels.

What calculator you choose is pretty irrelevant to how you perform on the exam. Just make sure you know how to use the one you have by exam day. For both calculators, this means learning how they do the financial functions. For the HP12c, you also need to get used to the Reverse Polish Notation way of doing ordinary calculations (though the platinum edition can be set to Algebraic mode like an ordinary calculator). If you don’t already know how to do it, it takes a little time (maybe a day or two) to get used to, but it really comes in handy when you have to calculate equations with many parentheses and subparts to them.

caesar.optimist Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I just started my preparation for CFA Level I > exam. > > I need help in choosing the right financial > calculator. > > Below are my options, could some one please list > the pros & cons of these and suggest the best one. > Price is a not a factor for me. > > > * HP 12c - Special Edition cost is US$ 99.99 Fast keystroke entry once you learn RPN. > > * HP 17BII - Cost is US$ 109.99 Can’t be used for the CFA exams unless the rules have been changed recently. > > * Texas Instruments BAII PLUS - Cost is US$ 59.99 A couple more functions that the HP 12c but you have to use algebraic notation. I went with the 12c and once I learned RPN, I can’ imagine ever using a calculator without it. > > Thanks

You should DEFINITELY go with the BAII Plus. I have three of them… this sucker has gotten me through two finance degrees and one CFA L1 exam. Never a single complaint…

Run a search for ‘emulator’ on this forum, all dates, all threads. It’ll bring out some good points re the two calculators. (The third one you mention is not an option for the exam). I like the HP12 better and that puts me in a minority group on this forum. Neither of the two will bring any significant advantage over the other on exam day, once you’ve learned them. Take the one you like best. Don’t let the price or someone else’s opinion decide.

Thanks a lot to all for the detailed response. I haven’t used either of them. Plan to test BAII Plus and HP 12c and based on my comfort level, I’ll choose one.

definitely comfort level…I got an HP 10C in 7th grade and started with the reverse notation and have not been able to use a regular calculator since.

typically how long does the calculator battery last ? I have a HP 12 C which i used while studying for LI. Now I have been practicing with it for L II. Do you think i should change it before the exam ?

I have both the HP 12C and IT BAII. Personally, I have become quite familiar with the HP and do believe the RPN function is advantageous. However, I like the bond functions better on the TI, and the HP also has rounding problems when calculating certain financial problems (I can’t recall right now because it’s been awhile and I’ve had a couple glasses of wine, but I’m sure someone else will chime in.)

My friend, the decision you are about to make should have nothing to do with the price or the RPN or your comfort level. Allow me to initiate you to the secret way of the world of finance. The BAII is the calculator of the back-office manager, or the middle-office clerk. It whispers ‘sorry, let me get out of your way, i need to finish my month-end reports’. If you choose the BAII, I can confidently predict that your car will be a Hyundai and you will live in a small suburban house surrounded by plumbers and public transit drivers. Now, the HP12c, that’s a different story altogether. It shouts ‘Step aside for I am the master of my fate and I laugh in the face of danger!’. Traders, deal makers and other movers/shakers boast HP12c’s carelessly strewn around their desks. You start with an HP, my friend, and you will move on to a porsche and a trophy wife and you will end up owning real estate in Canary Wharf. Such is the way of the world, my friend. Mark my words.

Well I guess we will see. I just purchased a BAII Pro and I am already eyeing some property in Canary Wharf.

nice. i just realized last night i received an hp 12c and figured i’d never really use it in the foreseeable future. what do you know, 2 months later i’m studying for a CFA charter, realizing i’ll need a calculator, remembered i received a calculator as a gift, so i’ll check out which one is it, and sure enought, it’s the HP 12c!!! i was debating switching out to the TI unit because i’m just starting to use it, but now, i’ve decided to stick w/ the big HP baby! Canary Wharf and red Porsche here I come! LOL.

I used the HP in college and then the BA for the exam even though I had both. It isn’t rocket science. Just pick one. If you can’t figure out how to use a calculator you have much bigger problems…maybe a little harsh but a couple seconds in calculation time here and there and the pros/cons are miniscule in my opinion for what you’ll be doing on the exam. If you want to seem smart in front of people that don’t know hot to use an HP then get that so when they ask if they can borrow the calculator on your desk you can laugh at them…other than that my post adds little value.

I still use a Casio fx-85 (got me through uni quite happily) and Excel for real life… I don’t like the buttons on the BAII Plus, sometimes they don’t depress right. The Pro feels better, but I’m too tight to buy another calculator when I have perfectly serviceable Excel + Casio.

excel +casio wont get you through the exam tho