Of course, money is important, but the way I see it is that the point is mostly about maintaining your competitive edge. Quants spend more than half of their daily life at work, so they'll have to find a way to justify their lives. It's not always easy to enjoy your job (sometimes things are not as interesting as they used to be), however, I believe, it's always necessary to appreciate the magnificence of what you're doing. Quants contribute to their firm by developing strategies to exploit inefficiencies of the market. If you're not too ethical, you can see this as an opportunity for intellectual and material growth. To me, market provides an ultimate battleground for fighting over resources. In such a fierce competition, you don't want to be a loser to easy money,.. You want to create and exploit as many opportunities as you can.. I believe it's particularly this competitive attitude which can keep you going. The flow of money is not always guaranteed..