The most user-friendly calculator

Hi All, I have engineering background and I have always used scientific calculators… I think I need to buy a financial calculator now for the exam… Which one is the easiest to use? I do not want to spend a lot of time reading the manuals… Thanks!

go for the texas BA11 professional

I think the BA II plus Business Analyst works perfectly fine also. Cos as a matter of fact there are not that many calculation questions in the exam, and for some of them, the calculations needed are just really teh same as what u’d do on a scientific calculator. I am darn used to a scientific calculator though I am a finance/econ major. We don’t use financial calculators that often?

minocfa, I’ve got another thread in this forum dealing with the same topic. I recommend the TI BA II Plus. I’ve been using the original version since college, and I just received today the newer Professional version with the added functions and change in design. It’s definitely a better value over HP and you’ll find the worksheets more intuitive to use.

Thank you all for your answers… Which one is the easier to use: BA II Plus or BA II Plus Professional?

I have an engineering background and just took level 1 in Dec. I used the BA II Plus Professional and found it very easy to learn. It makes bond calculations and cash flow questions very easy to do. I would recommend getting the Professional.

i used the TI BAII Plus as well, and i’d recommend it. it’s fairly easy to use, and the schweser notes gave step-by-step instructions for keying in data. however, the only thing i didn’t like about it was that the keys were too soft.

What does the TI-BA II Professional have that the standard model does not have?

It’s dipped in silver and polished to have that “I look cool but am still worthless” look that most mid-level managers have.

On a more serious note, it does some additional calculation functions that the BAII Plus doesn’t, such as Modified IRR and Net Future Value. Didn’t see anything on the exam this year that required either of these calculations, but still don’t mind having it at my disposal…

Although it’s not a big deal, you’ll also get discount payback and payback calculation as well with the Professional model. By all means, get the Professional version. It’s as easy to use as the regular version, and the display is nicer.

Ok, thanks…I think I will buy the Professional one then…

BA II plus also has the depreciation feature. I don’t think that the HP does, or at least the pref in the class I took said it didn’t. That is a helpful feature.

HP-12 does have depreciation, I see the buttons on mine. I never used them, though, but there are specific buttons for SOYD, DB, and SL (assuming sum-of-years-depreciation, declining balance, and straight line).

BA II Plus Pro. You can afford the small premium, check out prices on ebay and amazon.

I have read the reviews of BA II Plus Professional on Amazon. People complain about how hard it is to press the numbers… They say that they have to retype numbers because the calculator does not capture their input. Have you ever experienced these problems? Now I am concerned that I would miss a number in one of my lengthy calculations durig the exam…

Nobody having difficulty using BA II Plus Professional?

I used the Professional for the exam and it was fine. Honestly you don’t even use your calculator that much during the exam anyways.

have been reading these posts for a while and it seems most are about the TI. - so here’s my HP story… Got my first HP 12C in 1984 - at Citi as a young kid. They said “here’s a calculator - we need ROE of 20% and we’re geared 20:1, so go and build some products and make us some money!” (ahh those were the good ol’days!). Needed new batteries every couple of years. They die after about 10 years when you drop them down a concrete stairwell, which I did. Or drop in a swimming pool, which I did. Went to the HP17B in the 1990s - same thing but with ability to program and store your own custom calcs. For the CFA went back and bought a 12C and it was exactly the same as my first - except a faster chip I think. Have looked at the TI and it looks like it does the same things. Mind you, most people wouldn’t use most of the functions on either. I use the TVM, DCF, weighted avs, St.Devs, but do everything else manually. The only annoying issue with the 12C is the reverse polish notation. (eg to do 2 + 3 = 6 in RPN mode you do: 2, Enter, 3, + …wtf??>?) The only people crazy enough to use RPN are the reverse Polish I presume. So just put it back into Bolean mode and works fine ("2 + 3 = ") Stays in Bolean mode till you change the batteries next. Does all the nested brackets, etc just fine. The best advice is: 1. both HP and TI will do just fine 2. buy one early and get to know it back to front - you don’t want to be fiddling with new fuctions in the exams 3. lots of practice so you can do the basic calcs pretty much with your eyes closed (TVM, DFC, converting compounding periods, bond yeilds, etc) 4. buy spare batteries (or a spare calculator) for the exams 5. do a battery change before the exam and learn how to reset it after battery change (Bolean, end/begin, P/Y, number of decimals, etc) 6 don’t switch calculators a month or two out from the exam - they’re both pretty much the same, so it will only waste time bottom line: - probably only about 10% of exam questions need calculator - make a decision and stick to it. good luck…

If you’re an engineer and are quantitatively-minded, you might want to seriously consider the HP, the best reason to do so is because of RPN. If you know some computer science concepts, or if you understand inventory methods, calculations in RPN basically use a LIFO stack, and you ‘push’ your numbers onto the stack, and ‘pop’ them off with the operators, thereby leaving result as the bottom element in the stack. It takes a little getting used to, but once you see how it works, IMHO, you are far more efficient working in RPN (also known as postfix) instead of the ‘regular’ math mode (infix). For example, you NEVER need to use parantheses in RPN. My experience with RPN is that it is awesome to type in complicated expressions because you can start anywhere, if you have a complicated denominator you can just work with little pieces of it, then go to another piece and calculate, then add them together. When you work with a calculator like the TI, it’s MUCH more annoying to do this.