No, I am not a billionaire. I am definitely in the minority though,….when it comes to my choice in calculators.
After my observations from the CFA Level 1 Exam, I paid extremely close attention to everyone’s calculators when I wrote last Saturday for the CFA Level 2 Exam. I searched high and low, near and far, and I was unable to spot another HP 12C calculator in Munich. All I saw were TI BA II’s and various iterations thereof.
I actually bought two TI BA II Plus calculators but never used them. I never even bothered to take them out of their packaging. So why did I buy them?
I bought them after starting my Quantitative Analysis class last summer and the professor had everyone calculating covariance with the TI BA II calculators. I could not figure out how to calculate covariance using just the calculator functions on my HP 12C and was quickly falling behind. I had to use the formula and calculate everything out, which could take a long time if “n” was large. I could have just used the COVARIANCE.S function in MS Excel, but that option is not available during the CFA Exams. The same professor told me that I should be awarded extra points on the CFA Exams just for using the HP 12C calculator. In the end though, I never even used the Texas Instruments calculators. I am extremely comfortable with my Hewlett Packard 12C, and the HP 12C is generally quicker than a standard calculator, sans covariance. That’s the beauty of reverse polish notation, it is fast and efficient. I think I will stick with my trusty HP 12C, part of me likes being in the 1%.