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What do these symbols mean?
Old 05-16-2011, 10:34 PM   #1
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What do these symbols mean?

I've seen these many times (now in the include a pension in net worth thread) but I have no idea what they mean.

** and ^

Could you provide an example using real numbers?

Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:47 PM   #2
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Both are the exponent sign. 10**2 = 10x10 = 100. In the pension thread I had it as part of the equation for discounting future values, for example discounting 3 years at 4% as (1.04^3) which is 1.04 to the 3rd power or 1.04*1.04*1.04 or 1.124864.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:13 PM   #3
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And now you know.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:33 PM   #4
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Thank you!
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:19 AM   #5
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The "**" sign as exponentiation should look familiar if we have any FORTRAN programmers out there...
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:58 AM   #6
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The ** symbol for exponentials is not limited to Fortran. I programmed in SAS for 23 years and that was how I indicated raising a number to a power.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:35 AM   #7
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The asterisk may also be a replacement character inserted by the forum software in lieu of four letter words
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:55 AM   #8
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And the ** was used in lieu of the caret (^) in the olden days when the caret was not generally available. And just for a little nostalgia, there was a time when some character sets DID NOT HAVE LOWER CASE.
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