AuthorTopic: Which calculator to use for your CFA exam?
@2005-07-23 11:40:56
Calculator: HP 12C Platinum or TI BA II+ Professional? Did you have the same dillema? Which would you recommend?
@2006-04-14 07:39:09
HP 12C Platinum. I've had a HP15C once, and that helped to make up my mind.
@2006-04-17 09:41:11
The TI BA II seems to be cheaper. I personally find HP12C the best choice, even though the HP12 C seems to cost about twice or three times as much.

The HP12C and HP12C Platinum are both good calculators. One drawback or advantage (depending on how you look at it) is that they use "reverse Polish notation", RPN, when entering the numbers. Once mastered, RPN allows complex expressions to be entered with relative ease. In RPN the simple example "(1+2) x 3" becomes 3 2 1 + x. Every time you enter a number, it is pushed onto the stack. When you eventually start using arithmetic operators, numbers start "popping" off the stack as needed. A calculator using conventional logic will convert the expression to the RPN form by parsing the bracketed expression before carrying out the calculation.

Once you have overcome the difficulty of RPN (not a very great difficulty) it is ultimately easier to use. If you intend to become a frequent calculator user, you should definitely investigate the advantages of RPN.

Personally I didn't consider the TI BA II+ at all, but bought a HP12C straight away.
@2006-04-22 08:01:08
Here is actually a link to someone offering a software that simulates the HP12c platinum on a Windows computer.
@2006-04-22 16:52:54
Another link:
@2010-06-24 05:30:52
I am currently a university student and I have found that a large number of students are using TI's and I feel that is because they have no experience with RPN. I have been working in the investment industry for the past six years and every professional I have come across uses the HP12c. Once you master RPN it really does make life easier. The best thing is not having to write down intermediate calculations.

CFA Discussion Topic: Which calculator to use for your CFA exam?

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