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CALCULATOR FOR SCHOOL [#permalink]
24 May 2007, 04:27

Any idea what sort of calculator we should be buying for school? I know we need a financial calculator with certain functions, but is there some gold standard in calculators for b-school?

I have a friend who carries this weird calculator around with him all the time, he said when he went to b-school ten years ago it was THE calculator to have. The last time I needed a calculator was for calculus when I had the Texas Instrument TI-85 graphing calculator, so I'm a little out of the loop nowadays.

You can get specific financial calculators. I would go with the HP 17bII+ the HP financial calculators are a lot more advanced than the TIs I believe. I actually remember reading on the web somewhere that it is the required calculator at Wharton and some other top schools...and to use anything else actually can require permission from the professor.

Legendary, retro, and also about $80. Very much the standard for Finance, it will be the calculator that your lecturers are likely to refer to (they did in the lecture at NYU that I went to, actually).

edit - and is pretty much the same as the other one mentioned, but sideways.

An HP 12c Platinum Financial Calculator. You can use either RPN (reverse polish notation) or Algebraic mode to calculate. Plus it is very stylish and professional.

Ugh, I would seriously recommend staying away from the HP12C unless you are already familiar with it. The reverse polish notation is nasty.

I used the TI BAII Plus for the CFA exams, and think I'll stick with it for b-school. No graphing, but lots of time value functions, cash flow fuctions, standard dev calcs, etc. Plus it's easy to use.

I've never used reverse polish notation, the things I've read online that attempt to explain it don't quite make sense.

For instance, to add 3+4 you would type: 3 4 + right?
How do you add 34+5? Would you type: 3 4 5 + ? Wouldn't that just add up 3 plus 4 plus 5? Or do you hit enter after every single operand?

Not sure if I should learn this since this seems like the standard b-school way to go, or just use what I'm used to. Thoughts?

hp12c's are ubiquitous in the banking world. they're the standard.

While I understand that RPN may be a bit tricky to begin with, if you can't get your head around how to work a calculator... It is one of those things that just clicks at some point.

I've never used reverse polish notation, the things I've read online that attempt to explain it don't quite make sense.

For instance, to add 3+4 you would type: 3 4 + right? How do you add 34+5? Would you type: 3 4 5 + ? Wouldn't that just add up 3 plus 4 plus 5? Or do you hit enter after every single operand?

Not sure if I should learn this since this seems like the standard b-school way to go, or just use what I'm used to. Thoughts?

Johnny, I though the Polish stuff didn't make sense back in undergrad when I first got my HP 48GX. 2 days later, I was hooked! If you yave several layers of screen (which I'm not sure is the case with the hp 12) you calculate stuff way faster than with any other inputting standard. I had to keep a standard Casio scientific for some classes which did not allow programmable calculators, but every time I was using those, i had to write down stuff on paper and calculate again, and then write some more. With the HP I would be able to calculate a whole bunch of stuff without writing anything down.

On your example (again, based on my experience with the 48GX):

34 <Enter>
5 <Enter>
+

But that's not where it is faster (I'd say it's neutral). It's faster at stuff like:

Lepium - Thanks for the info, that's what I wasn't getting, that you have to hit Enter after each operand. Guess I should order a calculator now and start getting used to it.

HP12c emulator on Windows [#permalink]
26 May 2007, 22:00

For those of you who want a preview of the HP 12c - attached is an emulation that will allow you to try the 12c on a computer. However, this is not the Platinum version.

Re: CALCULATOR FOR SCHOOL [#permalink]
27 May 2007, 15:34

johnnyx9 wrote:

Any idea what sort of calculator we should be buying for school? I know we need a financial calculator with certain functions, but is there some gold standard in calculators for b-school?

I have a friend who carries this weird calculator around with him all the time, he said when he went to b-school ten years ago it was THE calculator to have. The last time I needed a calculator was for calculus when I had the Texas Instrument TI-85 graphing calculator, so I'm a little out of the loop nowadays.

Johnny, you should check with Stern - they may have specifics on what to get/not get. Wharton tells us to get The HP17bII+, and states that HP12C will put us at a disadvantage in exams (I don't know why).

Re: CALCULATOR FOR SCHOOL [#permalink]
09 May 2008, 05:27

I want to calculate this with my smartphone 12c or 10bII calculator (the screenshot of my 12c is attached):

Quote:

As another example, suppose that you just turned 25 and are planning for your retirement. You hope to retire at the age of 60, and would like to be able to make end-of-month withdrawals from your retirement account of $2,500 per month for a 30-year period after that. If you plan on funding your retirement by making monthly deposits between now and when you retire, with the first monthly deposit occurring at the end of the coming month, how much must each deposit be if you can earn 1 percent per month in your retirement account? (And, yes: we're going to ignore taxes here.)....

In this problem, we have two annuities, one of deposits and one of withdrawals. Since both involve monthly payments, we will need to have T expressed in terms of months and r in terms of "per month." (Luckily, r is already given to us as a monthly rate: we'll discuss how to handle converting it if it's not in the next chapter.) The first step involves converting the annuity for the payments we do know, the withdrawals into a lump sum. We have the choice of using either PVA or FVA formulas to do so; but, if we remember where those two formulas will place the lump sums, we can see that it will be better to use the PVA formula (because it will place the value at the same point in time as the last deposit, perfectly positioned for that value to be the FV of the deposit annuity). Solving for the PVA of the withdrawals yields:

- the formula is attached.

The author suggests that to solve for PVA one shall do this on a calculator:

Quote:

360 [T] 1% [r] 2,500 [C] [CPT] [PVA] = 243,045.83

But I can't find the way how to do it on my 12c or 10bII Any ideas?

By the way, I can't see any significant differences between 12c and 10bII. Are there any?

Ugh, I would seriously recommend staying away from the HP12C unless you are already familiar with it. The reverse polish notation is nasty.

I used the TI BAII Plus for the CFA exams, and think I'll stick with it for b-school. No graphing, but lots of time value functions, cash flow fuctions, standard dev calcs, etc. Plus it's easy to use.

I'm in I same boat as NL and I second his statements 100%. Plus the TI is only like $30 and gets the job done. The last thing you want to spend money on for b-school is a calculator. Forget the graphing calculator nonsense. Anything that requires a graph, you'll just use Excel.