I have been looking into what is like being a Post Doc in theoretical physics, and the impression that I get is that it is like graduate school, except you are paid a bit more money and some how you have much more work to do. I want to become a professor in theoretical physics but at the same time don't want to throw away the rest of my 20s and potentially early 30s making barely any money and being a economic liability to my partner. The type of research I do requires no university facilities and can be done with just paper, pen and a desktop. So I was thinking, how about instead of becoming a Post Doc after I get my PhD next year that I become a Quant, but still publish papers. I'll still be working like a madman, but I won't be a economic liability and during the few precious moments that I am not working I can actually live the life while I'm still young. If I get 3 or 4 papers a year published while being a Quant for a couple of years will that allow me to get an Assistant Professorship or is brutalizing yourself with a Post Doc the cultural requirement independent of ones ability to publish? I should add I can still work with my adviser as a Quant, but I would be more of a collaborator then the part of the traditional PI, Post Doc relationship.