In addition to artha, the other purusharthas (aims of life) are dharma (righteousness), kama (pleasure and emotional fulfillment) and moksha (freedom from the life-death cycle).
While artha may be considered a selfish pursuit, in moderation, it is an appropriate aim on the path to moksha as having the financial and material means to live in comfort is a basic necessity to everyday life. Artha ensures dignity through food, shelter, clothing and enough material possessions to live a meaningful life.
In contrast, poverty can lead to anarchy. So, the pursuit of material comforts helps to maintain social order. Excessive pursuit of wealth, however, leads to greed and social disorder. So, artha must be kept in check by dharma. The ultimate goal is the fourth and final aim, moksha. Until the individual reaches this state, the other three aims promote satisfaction and balance in life.