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Thread: Exam FM: BA II Plus, or BA II Plus Professional?

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    Exam FM: BA II Plus, or BA II Plus Professional?

    Hello,

    I have just passed Exam P, and I have a question about which calculator to use for Exam FM. I already have the TI BA II Plus, but I have heard that the TI BA II Plus Professional has significantly more features. What exactly does the Professional version do better, and do you think is it worth purchasing?

    Thanks!

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    According to Amazon's ad, the professional version also features: net future value (NFV), modified internal rate of return (MIRR), modified duration, payback, discount payback, and more. Some of this is on the syllabus, but you don't exactly need these functions to do the math for you.

    I used the same calculator you have and IMO it's fine. You can solve the vast majority of 2/FM problems very quickly just doing the math yourself and using memory keys to store values instead of TVM keys. Not that I got a great grade or anything! But any problems I missed were simply because I hadn't mastered the material enough. I feel the only time TVM keys are important are when solving for rates (if the quadratic formula can't be used).

    On the other hand, it looks like a nice calculator and isn't very expensive. You got me thinking - maybe I should grab one too. :Smart: At any rate, if you bring both to Prometric and one runs out of batteries ...

  3. #3
    Author, Instuctor and Seminar Provider krzysio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCholet View Post
    Hello,

    I have just passed Exam P, and I have a question about which calculator to use for Exam FM. I already have the TI BA II Plus, but I have heard that the TI BA II Plus Professional has significantly more features. What exactly does the Professional version do better, and do you think is it worth purchasing?

    Thanks!
    I have used both and find the Pro version more convenient to use. But it is very, very important, in my humble opinion, to use the calculator that you are greatly familiar with. You can pass FM with any of the approved calculators, although BAs are better than TIs for FM, and I think BA Plus Pro is best. But if you have to choose between a better calculator or a calculator you are very, very familiar with, go for the second one. So whatever you get, start using it in every possible situation every day. And learn all financial functions, they are not that hard.

    Yours,
    Krzys'
    Want to know how to pass actuarial exams? Go to: smartURL.it/pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by alekhine4149 View Post
    According to Amazon's ad, the professional version also features: net future value (NFV), modified internal rate of return (MIRR), modified duration, payback, discount payback, and more. Some of this is on the syllabus, but you don't exactly need these functions to do the math for you.

    I used the same calculator you have and IMO it's fine. You can solve the vast majority of 2/FM problems very quickly just doing the math yourself and using memory keys to store values instead of TVM keys. Not that I got a great grade or anything! But any problems I missed were simply because I hadn't mastered the material enough. I feel the only time TVM keys are important are when solving for rates (if the quadratic formula can't be used).

    On the other hand, it looks like a nice calculator and isn't very expensive. You got me thinking - maybe I should grab one too. :Smart: At any rate, if you bring both to Prometric and one runs out of batteries ...
    That's exactly the information I was looking for - whether the non-Pro version is sufficient for the test questions. I am not familiar enough yet with what's needed to be able to compare the two calculators. (I only started studying for FM last weekend.) And it's a very good point about having a spare. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by krzysio View Post
    I have used both and find the Pro version more convenient to use. But it is very, very important, in my humble opinion, to use the calculator that you are greatly familiar with. You can pass FM with any of the approved calculators, although BAs are better than TIs for FM, and I think BA Plus Pro is best. But if you have to choose between a better calculator or a calculator you are very, very familiar with, go for the second one. So whatever you get, start using it in every possible situation every day. And learn all financial functions, they are not that hard.

    Yours,
    Krzys'
    I didn't end up using the BA II Plus for Exam P at all, so I haven't gotten accustomed to it in any way. In fact this is going to be my first time ever using the financial functions in a calculator. I think I will give the Pro a shot. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    If you already have the BA-II Plus, there's no real compelling reason that you should buy the Professional version.

    You do, however, want to have a calculator that has a multi-line display, like the TI-30x IIs.

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    i agree with the above poster. the pro may be better but you already have the plus so the marginal benefit you may get from buying the new calculator doesn't really seem worth the extra 50 bucks or so that the pro would cost you.

    keep an eye on craigslist though if you are still interested. I bought my Plus on there for 5 bucks. If you can find a Pro for a good price, I would jump on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by originalogy View Post
    If you already have the BA-II Plus, there's no real compelling reason that you should buy the Professional version.

    You do, however, want to have a calculator that has a multi-line display, like the TI-30x IIs.
    Yes, I have gotten very used to having the ability to go back and type over a previous entry in my BA. That little calculator is pretty neat!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajsnyder85 View Post
    i agree with the above poster. the pro may be better but you already have the plus so the marginal benefit you may get from buying the new calculator doesn't really seem worth the extra 50 bucks or so that the pro would cost you.

    keep an eye on craigslist though if you are still interested. I bought my Plus on there for 5 bucks. If you can find a Pro for a good price, I would jump on it.
    I hadn't thought of that. Thanks!

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