This is a guide for CFA candidate users of the HP12C calculator. If you're a user of the Texas Instruments BA II Plus, you can read our how-to guide here.
Although Reverse Polish Notation, the HP12C’s language, may initially take some getting used to, it offers some advantages over non-RPN devices. Once you’ve developed basic knowledge of RPN, you may find it’s format more practical particularly for TVM problems on the exams.
To illustrate its value, I’ll list several fundamental uses followed by two basic examples of how the calculator’s financial operators work. I’ve also included several helpful tips for operating the HP12C.