Using HP12c Platinum Calculator

Howdy! I’m in no way an expert – but here’s what I think newbies like me need to know about this Financial Calculator.

I’ve discussed how to buy this in another blog (will link later). Here’s some quick reviews:


You see this in the box. You see this in all the articles. So what is it exactly? It’s Reverse Polish Notation. The usual one is algebraic (ALG). It’s the core selling point, I think, of HP12c.

What’s the difference?

  1. Keystrokes.
  2. Nothing else.

For example, for ALG, to do one plus one, we press 1 + 1 =. For RPN, we press 1 <enter> 1 +. That’s why the simplest functions “don’t work” in RPN.

Is it difficult to learn? Nah. Just go through the user manual.


It’s like a scientific calculator – for business people. It does amortization, depreciation, present value, etc. You can actually see the buttons “AMORT”, “NPV”, “IRR”, etc.

Figuring it out

They have an exercise book that teaches you how to solve problems using the calculator by providing all keystrokes. It’s called (drumroll please) the user’s guide.

It’s provided in CD when you buy it, 288 pages, suggest you start at page 16 (Section 1. Getting Started) and stop when your head starts to hurt (around section 8. Programming Basics)

Good luck!




2 thoughts on “Using HP12c Platinum Calculator

  1. Hi! I’m thinking of buying a financial calculator since it’s a requirement in my finance class. I’m still not sure whether to buy Texas Instrument BAII Plus or HP 12c Platinum. I want to know how is it overall? Thank you very much!


    1. My CFA friend says that TI is more user friendly and thus easier to learn as opposed to HP. The main benefit as far as she’s concerned is the RPN input method of HP, which makes the process simpler in the long run. She now uses the TI but endorses HP, if that makes sense. >.<


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