Tools are designed to help their users do their tasks more efficiently and crunching numbers is no exception. I’ve been humming along with Excel and my trusty scientific calculator just fine, but as I’m getting more involved with calculations such as discounting I’ve decided it may be worth the time to pick up a financial calculator that has many of these formulas built-in.

I ended up buying the HP 10BII, which is among the most popular financial calculators out there. It’s very reasonably priced, has training modules on the HP web site, contains advanced functions such as IRR and NPV, and has a user-friendly keypad. For $30-40, this is a must have for anyone in finance or real estate.

HP 10bII Financial Calculator on Amazon (please support us with your purchase!)
Calculator Comparison from About.com

While a financial calculator doesn’t handle some kinds of problems very well, it has a number of advantages over a spreadsheet: portability, no boot time, and speed in solving simple problems. And if you learn a few extra tricks, you can solve an amazing array of more complicated problems.

The HP is one of two calculators typically recommended in college finance classes. The other is the Texas Instruments BAII+. Both are exceptional tools, and IMO every finance person should have a financial calculator.

How about a review of the calculator instead? Show us how you solve problems with this calc. How does it compare to TI-89 loaded with finance apps for example.

You can find the TI Business Analyst II + on ebay for as little as $10 to $20 including shipping. I bought one for $10 total last week. I have been using this type of calculator for 25 years, and they are a great value and will do the calculations you need easily. I have an HP 12C too, but hardly ever use it. In my opinion, it is much less intuitive, and much harder to understand and use that the TI BA II+. By the way, I like the old original TI BA II even more.

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