Lets say having one and knowing how to use it can make you mucho money. One of the things I added to my wholesaling in the early years was buying and selling notes and a decent calculator was a prime tool. And then I discovered by mistake it helped convince some sellers to sell to me.
The seller was a bear and unreasonable as could be and I wanted a little time to think and I felt the calculator in my pocket and took it out and used it to kill some time and think, I finally cleared it and entered the price I was willing to pay, and then said to the seller, I’ve played with the numbers and the most I can pay is x dollars, and even at that price I could lose Money if something shows up I didn’t allow for, and this is how I make my living and I can’t do that if I don’t make any money, or even worse lose money. May I suggest that you do what I was going to do and squeeze out as much money as possible for yourself. There was a long silence and then, OK I’ll take your price, I didn’t say anything and just kept looking at my calculator and then he said I’ll tell you what I;ll knock off another $2,000 do we have a deal?
The first one I used is a Texas Instrument from years ago. From what I know, they all work the same, and a check in the Staples website would give you a selection of such calculators.
If you know the concept of present value, future value, it takes less than 30 minutes to figure out the calculator mechanics. To be fair, I took courses in engineering school, and finance school where they taught the concepts. In engineering school, before financial calculators, we use a book of tables.
The variables are Present value, Future value, Number of Periods, Interest Rate, the general idea is if you know three of the variables, you can figure the fourth. The trick is entering the known variables and press the button for the fourth.
Don’t know about smartphones, but you can use an Excel spreadsheet to do these calculations.
I’m a retired RE investor, and I have never used a financial calculator to do a real estate deal. The whole idea is buy low, sell high, and financial calculators don’t help me there.
Funny someone mentioned an abacus. I had to do financial rate of returns monthly using a TI financial calculator in my earlier career. They used to cost $400 each when they first came out, and one month it was unavailable, the Corporate Treasurer was out of town with it. I finished the monthly report without it. He asked how I did it, and did I borrow a book of tables? I shocked him when I pulled out a slide rule from my desk drawer, and said that’s what I used.
He didn’t believe me, and I actually had to show him how it’s done by slide rule.
The Texas Instrument BA II or BA II Plus is what I would recommend…I’ve used them over the years so much that I wore the numbers off the keys…and made fortunes doing so!
I currently have a new BA II Plus and that is what I recommend to my students who I mentor in creating (or buying) notes, mortgages, cash flows, and either keeping for wealth or reselling for profits…as well as calculating the restructuring of debt instruments.
There are a couple of great resources to learn how to use the calculator…the one I learned from is ‘Invest in Debt’ by Jimmy Napier…great book and well worth the investment…also, if you get some of the books by Lonnie Scruggs (R.I.P), he gave many examples of gigantic yields using mobile homes.
With all of the competition in the real estate investment areas, and although I have flipped hundreds of homes over the years, my preference is still investing in debt instruments for creating wealth and profits. One would want to use this calculator (or a comparable competitor) to figure out terms, pricing, yields, profits, and the like.