Financial calculators provide numerous benefits to individuals managing their personal finances, as well as business workers, accountants, actuaries, and students faced with challenging, time-consuming calculations. They make tedious financial calculations quick and easy, giving you more time and energy to focus on the important decisions. From basic statistics to complex financial computations, financial calculators simplify and solve your problems efficiently.
How much should you be saving? How much should you be investing? How much should you put into retirement? With the aid of a financial calculator, you can gain awesome insight into all of these questions plus more.
What is a Financial Calculator?
A financial calculator is similar to a regular calculator, only it is crafted specifically to handle financial functions. In addition to many of the standard keys you can find on a scientific calculator, financial calculators include keys to help you compute investment values, loan-related expenses, discounts, cash flow calculations, internal rate of returns, and additional financial questions. Financial calculators can also perform basic tax, interest-rate, and regression calculations, saving you both time and effort!
How Do You Use a Financial Calculator?
Using a financial calculator is made very simple with these explicit instructions. In order to perform operations regarding the time value of money, select the relevant keys denoted with one of the following: FV, PMT, PV, I, or N. These keys are typically organized at the top portion of the key section on your device.
Most of the keys include letters of various colors (e.g. blue and green). These colors represent alternative functions that the same key can perform. There should also be separate keys of the corresponding colors somewhere on your device (e.g. a blue key and green key). Typically, the white text (or whatever color is standard on your calculator) indicates the primary functions. The colored text represents alternative functions you can shift to using the same key. Simply select the appropriately colored separate key, and then select the appropriate key with your desired alternative function. This property is typically also located on other mathematical calculators; however, in this case, the functions are specifically designed to perform financial calculations.
You can also perform basic functions on your financial calculator. In order to change the sign of a number, simply select the “+/-“ key. In order to store a particular value, enter or compute it, and select the memory key (typically denoted by “M”). In order to restore this value, select the memory recall key (typically denoted by “RM”).
This said, there are many types of financial calculators, but each should come with a thorough set of instructions!
What Are the Different Types of Financial Calculators?
There are many different kinds of financial calculators. Each will differ slightly in their functions and purposes. These types include:
This is the most common type of financial calculator. It is simple and affordable, yet allows users to perform nearly all relevant financial calculations. It has over 100 built-in functions, including statistical analysis, and is one of the few calculators allowed by the Certified Financial Planning Board (CFP). The layout is very user-friendly and straight-forward. It is also small in size, allowing its user to take it anywhere it might be needed.
Texas Instruments BAII Plus
This financial calculator is very affordable and is also allowed by the Certified Financial Planning board (CFP). There is an added “worksheet mode” feature, which allows users to perform complex computations regarding depreciation, interest rates, amortization, and bond rates. Users can also easily perform cash flow and other statistical analyses. This calculator requires 1 Lithium ion battery to function. It is ideal for students and makes computations in accounting, economics, actuarial science, and finance very easy and convenient.
This financial calculator is slightly more expensive but has increased capabilities and functions. It is allowed by the Chartered Financial Analyst Program (CFA), so potential accountants are sure to appreciate this calculator kindly. It includes over 120 built-in functions and is able to perform complex statistical and mathematical analyses. Also, this calculator allows users to program customized functions into the list if their desired function is not already included. It is Energy Star certified, has a sufficiently long battery life, and is small in size, allowing users to transfer it easily.
This financial calculator is fairly similar to the HP 12c, only slightly more complex with the benefits of a split screen and additional financial functions; it shows two number lines on the screen, and it has 250 built-in functions. Although it is slightly more expensive than its alternatives, it includes a unique dual variable forecasting feature, which is very useful for complicated statistical computations. This calculator is also approved by the Certified Financial Planning Board.
Traditionally a standard graphing calculator, this robust device can also perform myriad financial calculations. In addition, it provides users advanced statistical and graphing functions. It is quite pricey and difficult to master, but it can provide, by far, the most detailed and complex analyses of numerous financial problems. This calculator also performs extensive mathematical calculations. It is not approved by the Certified Financial Planning Board.
This list is not exhaustive.
How to Choose a Financial Calculator?
There are a few factors you should consider when deciding which financial calculator is right for you.
How much do you want to spend?
Financial calculators vary greatly in price. Price is typically correlated directly with the complexity of the device’s functions. This said, if you know you will only need to perform basic functions, a cheaper calculator could work well for you.
Are you taking an exam?
There are only a few financial calculators certified by organizations such as the CFA and the CFP. If you will be taking an exam that allows financial calculators, ensure you are purchasing one that is certified or approved!
Do you need additional math functions?
Some financial calculators, such as the TI-84 Plus, can perform a multitude of mathematical functions. Actuaries, as well as statistics and math students, can benefit greatly from the added functions of these devices.
How soon do you need to learn the functions?
Some financial calculators, especially those that are more expensive, include very many, very complex programs and functions. Learning all the properties of these functions can require a lot of time, so if you need to become an expert quickly, ensure you are selecting a calculator that can be mastered quickly and easily!
Do you care about the size?
Many financial calculators are small and allow for easy carrying. However, there do exist a few which are bulkier. Ensure that you are selecting a calculator of reasonable size according to your desires.
Financial calculators are ideal for the day to day activates. As the name suggest, they are perfect for people who deal with financial matters. However, many people use basic calculators which lack special function keys. This creates more work as you have to key in everything manually.
If you are a student or financial professional, these devices are essential in increasing efficiency as well as accuracy. They are useful when calculating taxes, loans, mortgages and other economic equations. Besides, they can perform other essential operations hence rendering them versatile. Finding a reliable and easy to use the calculator, shouldn’t cost you a lot of time. We have researched and compiled a list of the top ten financial calculators to give you a smooth buying process.
10. Sharp EL-738C Financial Calculator
Are you tired of using a standard calculator that increases your work? Then, this Sharp EL-738C is all you need. It is a highly engineered and suitable for use by businesspersons, students or for personal calculations. It is easy to use through the soft buttons, and two lines display. Additionally, the device has numerous specials purpose keys and displays 10-digits. Therefore, you can compute interest rates, conversions, loans among other economic calculations. Besides you can also use it as a basic calculator and comes with a vinyl cover.
·2-lines display screen
·It has soft buttons
·Highly versatile and flexible
·It’s hard to use by newbies
9. Calculated Industries 3430 Finance calculator
For the people who are in real estate business, this finance calculator is all you need. It is manufactured by Calculated Industries to ease your calculations. There is no memorizing of loans and interest formulas again. You just need to program it, key in values and get the answer instantly. With it, it’s possible to compute net future values, plus net present and internal rate of return. Moreover, it enables you to get other complex functions like loan comparison on a weekly or monthly basis, figure amortization, mortgages among others. The calculator uses dual LR44 batteries and safety is enhanced by a slide cover protector. 1–years warranty backs this calculator.
·It has a plastic sliding protective cover
·It auto-shut after 8 minutes of non-use
The device comes with a user guide
·You have to reset after every computation
·Too much detailed for use by student
8. HP 12C Finance Calculator
With this calculator from HP, you can do more than economic calculations. It is designed for financial and algebraic computations. It is highly programmed to fit on various fields such as offices, businesses, real estates, and industries. Unlike other existing calculators, HP12 can perform specified computations and boast a large memory. Besides finance, it is a great tool in statistics as it can calculate mean, correlation, cumulative analysis and other statistical calculations. For business people, the device lets you calculate cash flows, bonds, amortization, TVM among others. This calculator has over 130 inbuilt functions, and the display is 1 line display with 10 digit capacity. It has a durable battery and 1-years warranty.
·It comes with a padded protector
·It is programmable and faster
·Its display is single line and not attractive
7. Casio FC-200V Finance Calculator
Casio FC-200V is a sleekly designed calculator for use in your business. As with other Casio calculators, this one is super-fast ad gives you the answers instantly. The device enjoys the versatility and is suitable for experts and educational purposes. This is due to the integration of finance and basic calculation functions. The screen is impressive featuring dotted patterns and offers 4-lines display. Everything is at your fingertips as the device can calculate the cost, amortization, and investment appraisal. Additionally, it enables you to convert rates, depreciation, and interests. It features two-way power due to solar and a backup battery.
·Easy to use
·Power is from solar and battery
·Sliding protective cover
·It is not suitable for complex finance computations
6. Calculated Industries 3405 Master IIIX Calculator
Perform all your real estate related calculations with less time; get this 3405 Master IIIX from Calculated Industries. It’s an expert device that is dedicated ensuring you perform your computations with precision. With it, you can be sure your business will go. It allows you to calculate anything related to mortgage, with just a press of buttons. No mores formulas, just key in figures and you will have the actual values instantly. 3405 Master IIIX gives the accurate PITI, automatically computes down payment and sale price. Also, it enables you to have an accurate prediction through balloon and amortization calculations. The calculator fits easily in a backpack pocket due to its compact size.
·Easy to understand user manual
·Has a shortcut triple 0 button
·Easy to press buttons
·Beautiful aluminum front cover
·Not suited to student
·Somehow complicated when using
5. HP 12CP Finance Calculator– Platinum
This calculator is an upgraded version that boasts excellent features. It has a superior speed and other added functions to make your computations easy. Also, to make it durable, it is constructed from sturdy plastic materials. As you perform your calculations, this device has a 400 steps memory, hence can handle even highly complex computations. Further, the over 120 built-in functions ensure it is versatile and can handle other calculations apart from financial ones. Unlike the earlier version, this one has added keys like backspace for editing. It is suitable for use by students and professional in various fields like finance, statistics, and programming.
·Energy Star certified
·It is difficult for the new users to use
4. HP 10bII Finance Calculator
Are you a business expert or a student taking financial courses? Now you can get this HP 10bII and enjoy speed and accuracy. It has a sleek construction and has over inbuilt 100 functions. These features are dedicated for the user to perform calculations ranging from statistics, finance and algebra. It is efficient in the computation of loans interests, cash flows, TMV, and others. Also, it can perform statistics allowing you to calculate standard deviation, correlation, and other functions enabling you to predict market trends correctly. Accuracy is a guarantee through the 12 digits LCD displays. Once you buy, it comes with one year warranty.
·Compact hence portable
·User-friendly through intuitive buttons
·Adjusting display contrast
·It is inferior quality wise than HP 12cp
3. HP 10bII+ Finance Calculator
If you are in business, it is prudent always to stay a step ahead. This HP 10bII+ gives you a chance to work smart with minimal strains. You just need to feed the calculator with figures, and it will give you feedback instantly. It is super-fast and boasts over 100 preloaded financial functions. This ensures you calculate loan repayment, interest rates, TMV, standard deviation and much more with a press of a button. It is an essential device for any business as well as every student perusing financial courses. A sleek design and user-friendly interface are inspirational to its users. Moreover, it is certified for use in CFP exams.
·It comes with downloadable user guide
·It is faster than other models
·Has enjoyable clicking buttons
·Display is 1-line and somehow unattractive
2. Texas Instruments BA II plus for Professional
The Texas Instrument professional finance calculator is one of the top rated and most loved. It is elegantly made with a rugged metallic body to increase durability. Also, the feet are rubberized to ensure it is anti-slipping. Designed for use by professionals and students I can perform both basic and financial computations. The device is ideal or even the complex calculation. It can perform modified rate of return, net future value among others. Also, it is approved for use in CFA exams.
·Rugged design with a metallic housing
·It comes with protective pocket
·Slip resistant rubber feet
·The pouch is soft hence less protective
· Slower than HP 12cp
1. Texas Instruments BA II Plus Finance Calculator
Enjoy the ease of use, speed and accuracy and you will always be ahead. It is not every calculator can enable you to achieve this, only BA II Plus finance calculator from Texas Instruments. Unlike other calculators, this one can perform basic math and most advanced financial functions. Calculate anything from bond, compound interests and depreciation among others with this calculator efficiently. There is no worry about the previous history as it can store in its large memory. The sliding covers give the maximum screen protection. It is an ideal device for every person who is involved in financial affairs.
·Large memory to store previous calculations
·Easy to read display
·Well printed buttons
·Very delicate if dropped
·When switched off is doesn’t retain numbers
Everyone interacts with money every day. Therefore, having a little knowledge on how to calculate some basic financial calculations is vital. A financial calculator is an ideal way to ensure you become an expert in money matters. Get one today, and you will manage your finances like an expert.