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Thread: The Right Calculator

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    The Right Calculator

    I have just started studying for the FM exam and I was wondering how important it is to have a calculator that has financial math functions. I have a TI-30 right now. (Product Link) Will using this calculator put me at a disadvantage? I would really like to keep the costs of taking this exam to a minimum and I think that having the right tools the first time will help but I don't want to buy a new calculator if the one I have will do fine. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    I just spent the 60 dollars for a new BA II Plus professional.

    There are a few problems which involve finding an interest rate of an annuity which you can not solve exactly by hand.

    There are approximation methods, or you can plug each of the possible solutions into the problem. Overall, they are probably slower and I don't trust them as much as pushing 5 button to get the exact answer.

    For other problems, I usually do them out by hand anyway.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the advise.

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    Def go with the BA II Plus...if you want to spend the extra money for the professional you can but the standard one will suffice

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelleyo2l@gmail.com View Post
    I have a TI-30 right now. (Product Link) Will using this calculator put me at a disadvantage?
    Saying that it would put you at a disadvantage would be a pretty big understatement, unless you are lightning quick with Newton's Method. For most of the problems, I would say a Financial Calculator isn't, strictly speaking, required, but definitely would be a boon - with the benefit of automating many operations that are doable, but tedious, by hand as well as allowing you to make up lost time quickly if you happen to mess up - while the questions that involve solving high-degree polynomials make it a requirement (i.e. some problems involving calculating yield rates).

    I've used the TI financial calculator and the BA10B II, and I've always preferred the latter. Whatever calculator you choose to pick up, it will be worth investing at least an hour in familiarizing yourself with all the things it can do.
    Last edited by theodds; January 26th 2010 at 01:22 PM.

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