They made 160% on Medallion (8 billion originally, meaning 13 billion appx). Although there are "fees", those are also paid out to the employees, so it's just the richer guys paying the poorer guys more, so the number quickly reverts to the mean.
Simons took home 2.5, leaving around 10 billion.
RenTec has 300 employees, and let's just say 700 employee emeritus. 10 billion/1000=10 million.
AVERAGE. From the lowest researcher or secretary to Henry Laufer, Simons's #2 (who took home 125 million).
As for the norm, of course it's not the norm. But I also saw on Wilmott that at DESCo, if after a few years as a quant, you're not raking in at LEAST mid-high six figures, something has gone "horribly wrong". Meaning that as you go down the list to slightly lesser respected companies, the comp drops off even more. However, we're talking at a respectable shop that an entry level quant makes as much as an actuary.
At the best of the best, the comparison becomes plain silly.
Also, if you value your sanity, the boredom at actuarial work will quickly deprive you of it.
Why would it? The actuaries sell special books for that. I think MFE may cover the 3rd test or whatever...either way, actuarial exams like to throw curveballs and their a-double dot notation at you.
Once again, I contend that there's a reason that there is no Jim Simons or David Shaw of actuaries, and nobody comes close from that profession. There's also a reason why actuaries are also rarely if ever mentioned in the same vein as the quants.
I have been working in an actuarial consulting firm (originally aspired to be an actuary) for a better part of 10 years. If you like programming, then I would suggest staying away from being an actuary (at least from my firm). Rarely do you need to program (and if you do, they are fairly basic) and your best tool is Excel. No one I work with had taken any OOP classes (let alone C++). That's not to say they aren't good programmers, just that the job does not require such discipline.
This is one of the main reasons I am going to get my MFE, as I enjoy programming and feel like I wasted my potential (and the fact that I refuse to take those onerous exams, especially the later ones that have very little to do with math).
I don't know if one profession is "better" than another, it is all a matter of personal skill sets/preference.
Basically financial engineer engages in more activities in financial market rather than actuary. If we state that in better you mean which involves less difficulty finding a job than it's clear that both are highly competitive. But financial engineering is wider I think and actuary is obscure in insurance (more or less). Financial engineers work with computer scientists for HFT development while actuarial work is not that important in this matter. But I agree with the opinions previously stated - both are important. We should be more specific in what we mean in "BETTER" - e.i. ease of finding a job, different field involvement, compensation, etc.