Clearly, Goldman Sachs is a larger, more profitable company. That, however, is not the question. The real question is growth which is what the street bets on all the time.
The real question is can Goldman grow faster then Ladenburg? Will Goldman be 4 to 10 times larger a few years from now or will Ladenburg be 4 to 10 times larger?
Consider this, Ladenburg has a total of 7 office locations nationwide. They acquired two different companies last year, Broadwall and Capitalink. We can assume that more companies will be acquired in 2007 and 2008. Dr. Frost has made Ladenburg his pet project and was quoted as saying that the 15 story building "will be too small for the firm".
In conclusion, Ladenburg is no Goldman. However, Ladenburg has a lot of room to grow. Goldman, on the other hand, does not have the same room.
When JPMorgan was two bits over ten years ago, many were saying "why invest in JPMorgan". Now those same people are saying "why didnt I invest in JPMorgan". You can either sit their on the sidelines believing trading in and out is the key to making money or buying&holding and having faith. Those that didnt have faith in JPMorgan were proven wrong and still wondering why they are not millionaires. While those that did have faith are retired.