Starting off in Finance: advice required

Unless your goal is to compete with me for the number of terminal masters degrees earned...
Of course not man, I don't know what you have earned.

...may I ask why you would plan to do this?

First, I have some research experience, currently I'm writing a Diploma research one a topic that I want to write a thesis also. Have been working on it for less than 2 years and I'm really interested in doing research on that theme.

Second, I'm thinking to pursue my future career in academia. Haven't strictly decided though, but I really want.
MBA in finance nets you at least 150k+ from the start. You will advance more and add more to that if you don't suck, so that after a few years you are making 250k+ when times are good. This is in the industry. Contrast that with a PhD. 4 or 5 more years of schooling, yet now you are making that at a school.

You do one or the other, not both. Especially not back to back.
Salary is of my zero concern. I don't need salary of even $1.00 if that doesn't help my academic career. That's what I'm considering but MBA gains me more understanding of the issues and I'll be clearer for Doctoral program than without it. Actually in my country this is a common path: BBA -->> MBA-->> ... and then directly PhD or MFE before PhD.
My background is quite similar to yours - I've just followed it up with a random walk through various degrees/careers - sometimes I wish I had been born 10 years earlier, or 10 years later :)

It seems you are leaning more towards the MFE and I wonder if you would find the options available to you post-MBA to be too limiting. If you truly enjoy the math and analytics, I would continue on this track and strengthen your resume while you make up your mind. Combining this with a L1 CFA should enable you to keep one foot in each pond in the interim.

Re: Stagnation - this is precisely where your MBA or MFE will come in. Think of them as your career's 'get out of jail free cards'. Any job is what you make of it.

Re: CFA - without work experience you can not become chartered. NYC doesn't seem to place much emphasis on it but in Canada it has become a pre-requisite (from what I hear, this is true in India and China as well). The L1 curriculum falls in line nicely with the finance taught in the MBA program. I don't see how sitting for it could be viewed as a death (?)

Re: B-School - I went to a tier 2 school for a variety of reasons, among which was a full scholarship and the expectation that I would wind up working in corporate finance somewhere in middle America. With hindsight being 20-20 and aspirations of a Wall Street career, I wouldn't recommend this route. I worked my way through boutique BDs in New York to one of the world's most prestigious funds, but it was an uphill battle requiring fortitude of the variety seldom exhibited by those of with two x-chromosomes ;) To go back and do it again, I would only consider top 10 programs with emphasis on those in the north-east. 700+ GMAT and 5 years is the guideline, tho I'm seldom one to play by the rules.

Re: Salary Expectations - Its really a relative thing. I would say for those with prior relevant experience the MBA will offer a greater salary boost, for those with no prior relevant experience it's a game of chance. My MFE colleagues with no relevant experience are receiving mind boggling offers - when looking at MBA salaries do read between the lines, most don't wind up on Wall Street. Long term, well, I suppose most wind up at the MD level either way ;)

Re: CMU MBA- I have some knowledge of the program, though mostly anecdotal. The popularity of MFE programs is something rather recent. I have friends who completed both the MBA and undergraduate program and landed great NYC quant jobs immediately.

@amanda.jayne: greatly appreciate your advice. sounds robust to me.I have a feeling I will solicit your advice again in the near future, if its no bother :) . Meanwhile, I will take your pointers and follow up.

Thanks a lot again !