The Best Calculators for the CFA of 2023

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Are you interested in pursuing a career as a CFA or chartered financial analyst? If yes, you’ll definitely undergo various tests and exams. One of such tests is the CFA test, designed to certify and measure your competence and integrity before you become a financial analyst. The test requires you to have experience in economics, quantitative methods, investment analysis, financial reporting, portfolio management, etc. All these require serious calculations and operations. With the exam requiring you to spend an average of 90 seconds on each question, you know you’ll need a calculator that offers advanced operations.

That’s where CFA calculators come in. Here’s an article featuring detailed reviews of the best CFA calculators available today. Let’s go!

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for calculators for the CFA here.

Our Favorite Pick for Best Calculators for the CFA

Texas Instruments BA II Plus

Although it takes quite some time to get the hang of the collection of worksheets featured on the Texas Instruments BA II Plus, it’s still an excellent investment for anybody preparing for the CFA test. This CFA calculator operates in worksheet and calculator modes, making them one of the most versatile options on our list. While the standard mode allows you to perform basic maths operations and others involving time value for money, the worksheet mode features operations in amortization, depreciation, compound interest, and bond.

The very helpful manual in the calculator helps you handle such operations without prior knowledge of how it works. Besides, the calculator stores all its previous worksheet values in its memory, saving you the stress of typing all the figures afresh when you need to work. The calculator also has other advanced features for people who want to use it for heavy-duty financial computing.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The versatility of the Texas Instruments BA II Plus makes it an excellent calculator to serve you for the CFA test and for other advanced operations you’ll need to do after.
  • Although it features advanced operations, this CFA calculator is still easy to get the hang of, even for novice users. You just need to go through the detailed manual for a successful start.

Why Choose This Calculator for the CFA:

  • The Texas Instruments BA II Plus is easy to use and impressively lightweight, making it easy to pack in your backpack or anywhere on the go.
  • The instruction manual is written in plain and simple English, so getting a hang won’t be too difficult.
  • It’s also incredibly easy to maintain.
On Sale
TEXBAIIPLUS - Texas Instruments BA-II Plus Adv. Financial Calculator
  • Made in China
  • Country of origin:- China
  • Package Weight: 1.0 kilograms

Last update: 2022-11-25


HP 12C Financial Calculator

Perhaps the best thing about this calculator is the versatility it offers. This versatility means that even non-traditional account students can use it. Although it uses Reverse Polish Notation, many users still praise its ease and versatility. You just need to learn the RPN operation patiently if you’re not used to it, and you’ll be good to go. The calculator, which was introduced in the 1980s, has maintained relevance, despite the introduction of newer, fancier calculators over the years. Its thin and sturdy casing makes it easy to move around.

One point to note is that it’s a bit slower than newer models, but that doesn’t stop it from holding its ground when used for advanced operations. You’ll find a cheat sheet on the calculator’s bottom highlighting standard functions you can use for quick reference. All the features combine to make the HP 12C Financial Calculator an excellent option for handling all financial and accounting calculations.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The HP 12C Financial Calculator features an easy-to-use layout that helps to prevent errors for efficient data entry.
  • The availability of over 120 built-in functions means there’s hardly any calculation you can’t make with this calculator.
  • Its power-off memory protection helps to protect your data, even when the calculator is not in use.

Why You Should Choose this Calculator for the CFA:

  • Although it’s a relatively old technology, it has features and functionalities that rival modern calculators.
  • Apart from the opportunity to do straightforward calculations, the calculator offers quick, accurate answers at your fingertips.
On Sale
HP 12C Platinum Calculator
  • Keystroke programming, up to 400 steps
  • Simple, easy-to-read 1-line-by-10-character display
  • Rpn and algebraic data entry

Last update: 2022-11-25


Our Runner’s Up for Best Calculators for the CFA

Hewlett Packard 17BII+

Designed with business, real estate, and finance professionals in mind, the Hewlett Packard 17BII+ has all the right features to make the CFA test easier for anybody. First, the availability of both RPN and algebraic data-entry modes makes it a very versatile option for finance and real estate experts. It provides TMV and amortization features. Add that to the list-based cash-flow analysis, interest rate conversions, currency conversions, bond price calculation, and depreciation calculations that the calculator features, and you can tell that it’s a one-size-fits-all.

The calculator's 28k built-in memory combines well with its power-off memory protection to keep your operations safe, even when you need to take a break or the device goes off. You also get to set the operating language to your preference, as it has English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish options.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Each pack of the Hewlett Packard 17BII+ includes a calculator, batteries, instructions, user guide, warranty information, and a leather carrying case.
  • It features a 22-character, two-line display that’s clear and easy to read, even from a distance.
  • Although we’ve seen complaints about the keys being a little hard to press, it’s still clear and easy to understand compared to many other CFA calculators.

Why Choose this Best Calculator for the CFA:

  • The Hewlett Packard 17BII+ has many functions that make solving financial problems easier.
  • It is generally portable and easy to carry, so moving it around won’t be difficult.
  • The attached user’s guide has every instruction you’ll need to get the hang of this device.
On Sale
HP 17BII+ Financial Calculator, Silver
  • HP Solve customizing method
  • Alpha and numeric keyboard
  • Over 250 built-in functions

Last update: 2022-11-25


HP 12 C Platinum Edition

The HP 12 C Platinum Edition is a step up from the popular HP 12C, which on its own is an industry-standard. In this one, HP did not just add RPN and algebraic entries. It adds industry-specific calculations with four times more memory than the former. That means more operation and faster speed. It doesn’t stop there. An additional link to a CFA calculator app allows you to download an app that provides free online training. Like the previous version, the HP 12 C Platinum Edition is also an ideal option for heavy-duty calculations in banking, finance, and real estate. Its over 130 built-in functions puts it in the rank of some of the most versatile financial calculators out there.

Whether you’re using this calculator for statistical purposes or financial calculations, there are just the right functions for you. The keys are also more flexible, giving you the leverage to execute keystrokes with a simple push.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The HP 12 C Platinum Edition is compact and easily transportable, so you can take it anywhere.
  • Each pack includes a calculator, padded carrying case, batteries, warranty card, and owner’s manual.
  • This calculator’s versatility means you can use it for other operations beyond the CFA test.

Why Choose this Best Calculator for the CFA:

  • It comes with an online course that allows you to learn everything you’d need to know about the calculator.
  • The functionality is more extensive and comprehensive than in the previous edition.
On Sale
HP 12C Platinum Calculator
  • Keystroke programming, up to 400 steps
  • Simple, easy-to-read 1-line-by-10-character display
  • Rpn and algebraic data entry

Last update: 2022-11-25


Our Value Pick for Best Calculators for the CFA

TEXBAIIPLUS - Texas Instruments BA-II Plus Adv. Financial Calculator

If you’ve used any product from Texas Instruments before, you’d know how much importance the company pays to delivering quality education gadgets. The TEXBAIIPLUS – Texas Instruments BA-II Plus Adv. Financial Calculator is not an exception. Like most other options in this article, this financial calculator has many features and uses to make financial operations easier for financial students and workers. However, this one is relatively affordable. It’s an ideal option for finance, economics, accounting, statistics, and investment applications. Its promoted display guides you through financial calculations showing current labels and variables.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Despite having a solid design, the TEXBAIIPLUS – Texas Instruments BA-II Plus Adv. Financial Calculator is still incredibly lightweight, making it easy to pull out and use anytime.
  • Each pack comes with a calculator, batteries, user guide, and warranty information.

Why Choose this Best Calculator for the CFA:

  • It is not just easy to use; it also has a detailed operator’s manual to help you get around basic and advanced operations.
  • Its impact-resistant protective cover has a quick reference card that you can always take a quick look at when you forget an operation.
On Sale
TEXBAIIPLUS - Texas Instruments BA-II Plus Adv. Financial Calculator
  • Made in China
  • Country of origin:- China
  • Package Weight: 1.0 kilograms

Last update: 2022-11-25


How to Choose the Best Calculators for the CFA?

While calculators have all types of bells and whistles these days, there are only a few vital things to consider when shopping for CFA calculators. First, you must understand how important the test is to your career as a financial analyst and that you must use only calculators that’ll help simplify the calculations, especially since you have only 90 seconds to spend on each question. That said, here are important questions to answer when choosing a CFA calculator.

What is the Calculator Specification?

As expected, there are different specifications of CFA calculators, and each specification serves a particular need. Ask yourself whether you’re just buying the calculator for the CFA test or whether you’d also want to use it on your job as an accountant or a financial analyst. The answer to this question should ultimately decide which model you should get. Additionally, if you’re using it for the CFA test, ensure that the model you’re buying is approved for use during the testing.

What’s the Battery Life Like?

Speaking of the CFA test, nobody wants the awful experience of having their calculator run out of power on them while they are still on the exam. CFA calculators can be battery-powered, solar-powered, or a hybrid of both. Whichever you choose, make sure you rely on them to stay charged long enough until you finish your exams. Different calculators have different power life, and you can find this under the battery specifications section of the user’s manual.

How Much Does it Cost?

Although we often choose to deny it, price plays a significant role in our purchases. Nobody goes to the market without drawing a budget and planning what you want to buy. The same goes for different CFA calculators. These calculators come in different models and styles, and each model has its price tag. While choosing a CFA calculator, ensure that the price is fair and within your budget.

Is the Calculator CFA Approved?

Lastly, you’d want to shop for a calculator that’s a CFA calculator that’s approved. You don’t want to buy a calculator; go through the learning curve, only to find out on the test date that it’s not approved for it. So while shopping for a calculator, always check the options available to see whether you can use it for the CFA test.

Wrapping Things Up: The Best Calculators for the CFA

Now you have it, a detailed article reviewing the best calculators for the CFA. Each of the calculators reviewed here has its pros and cons. So, before choosing, it’s essential to review all the features and functionalities carefully. While some are great to get you through the CFA test and a few finance classes in college, others are designed for the most challenging finance calculations for people going into finance as a career.

Our favorite choice, Texas Instruments BA II Plus, is a one-stop calculator for all financial and accounting calculations. It operates in calculator and worksheet modes, making it one of the most versatile options in the market. Our runner’s up, Hewlett Packard 17BII+, is designed for business, real estate, and finance professionals. Its TMV and amortization features, along with other features, make it a one-size-fits-all for anybody.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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