financial calculator

Which Financial Calculator to Buy?

Are you taking any financial certification exams like CFA, CFP or CPA?

Are you having a tough time calculating your loan payments?

Are you facing difficulties figuring out interest amounts and payment schedule?

Are you interested in calculating cash expenses and making other financial projections for your business?

If the answer to any one of the above mentioned questions is a yes, you might consider buying a financial calculator for yourself.

A financial calculator is a highly powerful calculating machine with numerous additional features and calculation capabilities as compared to the simple add-subtract-multiply-divide functions of a standard calculator. It essentially works like a mini computer. Some of the higher-end models of financial calculators also include graphing capabilities that enables you to calculate future growth rates based on current mathematical estimates or to store formulas inside the built-in data drives.

Based on functionality, price considerations and exam acceptance, I am presenting here a list of the best financial calculators to choose from.


The HP10BII is one of the most affordable financial calculators available and thankfully, you do not need to compromise on quality on this one. It is easy to use and learn and a true value for money. Of course there are more powerful financial calculators out there but not one is easier to use with all the features that you’ll need as a beginner. It is capable of completing over 100 different math functions and it has special programs for bond valuations and bond yield. Unless you’re a financial expert with specific needs, you can definitely look at this powerful equipment from HP.

The HP 10BII+ takes everything that is great about the HP 10BII and then simply extends on the functionality. Buy Online

CFP Standards: The Certified Financial Planning Board (CFP) has strict regulations regarding acceptable calculator models for students taking the exam. It does not accept any calculator with alphabetical keys. HP 10BII is one of the few calculators allowed for the exam. Therefore, I would strongly recommend this particular model to students who are planning to take this certification test in the future.

Texas Instruments BA II Plus Financial

There are two versions of this particular calculator. The Texas Instruments BAII Plus Financial version is the scaled-down model of the professional one. It is best for students who have just started with preparations for financial certification examinations. The better versions can always be bought later as you progress in your career path. Its price is probably one of the best reasons to select this calculator, especially for those on strict budgets.

The calculator features finance functions such as amortization, bonds, cash flows (up to 24 uneven), depreciation, and more.

CFA & CFP Standards: Only two calculator models are authorized by the CFA Program exams and one of these is the BAII Plus. It is also acceptable for the CFP certification exam.  Buy Online

HP 12C

HP 12 C is the ideal purchase for students and professionals alike. Price wise it strikes just the right balance. It is more expensive than the budget financial calculators and cheaper than the high-end graphic calculators.

The large layout of buttons and 10-digit display screen is perhaps its biggest draw making it extremely easy to use. In terms of functionality, it has over 120 business and finance functions such as, cash flow, depreciation, bonds, loan payments, amortization, and more. Overall, a great calculator except its price. There are less expensive financial calculators that perform the same functions at a lower price but for banking, real estate, and insurance professionals it may be worth the extra money.

CFA Standards: This is the other calculator acceptable for use in CFA certification apart from BAII Plus discussed above. It is also acceptable for use in CFP certification examinations. Buy Online

Texas Instruments BAII Plus Professional Financial

Slightly more expensive than the entry level Plus II, the BAII Plus Professional is surely a power performer. In addition to the basic features, it comes with many advanced functions for trignometric and logarithmic (including natural log) calculations . It is also an ideal buy for students who need to incorporate advanced calculus.

Though it is pricier than the standard BAII Plus, it definitely is an intelligent buy for students looking for an accounting or economic career as it will last you long.

CFA & CFP Standards: It is acceptable for use in both CFA and CFP certification examinations. Buy Online


The HP 17BII can be easily compared to the HP 12C both in terms of performance and price. The main difference is the display screen. While 12C has a single line 10-digit large display, 17BII has a split screen display that allows users to see two different numerical lines. That is not all. The 17BII has additional 250 finance functions as compared to the HP 12c. One of these is the dual variable forecasting feature, which is surely a big plus point as compared to other budget and moderately-priced calculators. It is helpful for statistics classes, but obviously if your pocket permits, a graphic calculator will serve a better purpose there.

CFP Standards: This particular calculator is acceptable for the CFP exam. Buy Online

 Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus

Essentially a graphic calculator, TI 84 is an improved version of the TI 83. It incorporates graphical and statistical programs in addition to all the regular functions of a financial calculator. Fact is fact, it is a very expensive calculator. So it suits only those people who actually need the added graphical and statistical capabilities of this power machine. It takes a while to get accustomed to this one because of the many many features.

Like most graphic calculators, it has a display screen large enough to show an entire sequence of numbers as well as the display of graphs.

Certification Exam Standards: It is forbidden for use in any financial certification exam! Buy Online

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Which calculator do you use and recommend?

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Preeti Patawari

I'm here to share my love for numbers specially where I can help you clear your aptitude examinations like CAT, GMAT, IBPS and so on. In past I did that full time at Career Launcher.

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