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Celebrating 27+ Years of Service


Creating Clarity & Simplicity For Busy Families and Businesses 

Our planning process includes a thoughtful review of tax planning, risk management, investments, goal funding, and retirement

A Little About Us

We are honored to have served our individuals, business, and families for decades. We look forward to decades more of service. Learn about each of our team members below. 

Dave Swisher Photo

Dave Swisher

President & CEO
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Providing professional tax and investment advice for more than 25 years, Dave is knowledgeable in the financial arena and stays abreast of current tax developments and investment trends. Dave enjoys doing his own research and as a former History and Economics teacher, he maintains a balance between current trends and historical market perspectives. Beginning his career as a high school teacher, Dave possesses a unique quality-—one of being an investment professional who not only is astute, he is extremely approachable and understandable.

When Dave started working in the financial services industry, he observed firsthand the inherent conflict between client needs and sales quotas. He could not reconcile this conflict with his fiduciary duty to his clients, their needs must come before any compensation structure. To avoid the conflict, Dave wanted to be truly independent. This desire drove him to establish Benchmark Capital Group, Ltd. in 1995. He is currently the president and CEO of the business which is based in Galena, Illinois.

Dave resides in Galena with his wife of 35 years and has 3 grown children. He enjoys hiking, being active in scouting and reading. Dave received his BA from Eastern Illinois University in History, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, FINRA-65 uniform investment advisor, and tax practitioner.

dave@benchmarkcapitalgroup.com         815.777.0600

Rich Hahn Photo

Rich Hahn

Investment Advisor
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Based in St. Louis, Rich has earned a wealth of well-rounded experience during his thirty five plus years in this field. He enjoys the long-term relationships he has developed with his clients. His success may be based on his conservative, careful approach to investing, forecasted by portfolio and risk management modeling, an area of his expertise.

Rich received his initial wealth management training in New York with Thomson McKinnon Securities. He continued his career with Prudential Securities and then Stifel Nicolas. In 1994, he founded Hahn Securities, Inc. which served as an introducing Broker Dealer and Investment Advisory firm. In 2011, Rich began working with Benchmark Capital Group, Ltd., and has since been doing business as Benchmark Hahn Advisors.

Rich received his BA from Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville. He began his career as a high school instructor in speech, English, psychology and mathematics. Rich is a FINRA-65 uniform investment advisor.

rhahn@benchmarkcaptialgroup.com      866.791.8555

Tom Kaminski Photo

Tom Kaminski

Investment Advisor
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Tom brings with him 15+ years of industry experience to the Benchmark team. A born-and-raised Midwesterner, his career growth took him from Omaha to Chicago ultimately to Kansas City, where he now resides.

His career started on a trade desk with a national brokerage firm, helping new clients consolidate their accounts, and analyze and place their own self-guided trades. Eventually earning the opportunity to oversee the firm’s large institutional clients (like Benchmark Capital), Tom was exposed to the power of independent, fiduciary advice.

He spent years earning his CRPC® (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) and CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™) designations, in addition to obtaining his series 7 and series 66 licenses, to better himself in service of his clients.

On a personal note – he has moved cities, gotten married, bought a home, gotten promoted, changed jobs, had a baby, had another baby, and refinanced the home he bought all within the last 7 years. He knows firsthand the complexity of personal finance through lived experience! Nothing makes him more excited than helping others find peace in navigating life’s twists and turns.

Prior to his professional career, he received his BSBA and a co-major in studio art from Creighton University. He is also a board member of the Kansas City Financial Planning Association (FPA).

tom@benchmarkcapitalgroup.com      402.709.4519    

Linda Ziarko Photo

Linda Ziarko

Manager of Client Relations
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Focused on providing quality customer service, Linda is detail-oriented and answers questions quickly.

Linda is truly an asset to Benchmark Capital Group with her welcoming personality and ability to focus on providing each client with personal attention. Linda’s experience in banking, retail management, customer service, hospitality and event planning are the perfect complement to our group. Her work experience has allowed her to hone her skills which include quick and complete follow up, attention to details, anticipating questions and providing answers. Linda is originally from the Chicago area and relocated to Galena in 2007.

Linda holds an Associates Degree from Triton Community College.

linda@benchmarkcapitalgroup.com     815.777.0600

Pictured Above: Downtown Galena, IL 

Founded in 1995, Benchmark Capital Group was born out of a desire to build a business that provides true, independent, fiduciary advice to clients. 

When you team with Benchmark Capital Group, you're not simply hiring a financial consultant. You're becoming a part of our financial "family." Focused on developing a personal relationship and earning your trust, we are here to listen and learn.

Our mission is to earn the trust and respect of each client by providing unmatched personal service and focused, comprehensive financial advisement for all aspects of that client's personal and professional life.

Our business has grown over the years due to attention to detail, intensive research and our commitment to providing excellent customer service. We have found that these characteristics have allowed us to grow organically through client referrals.

Fiduciary First

As both CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS (CFP®) and as a Fee-only Registered Investment Advisor, we are legally obligated to put your needs before our own at all times.  We act as an independent, objective voice to your financial needs under all circumstances. 


Our Registered Investment Advisory firm is fee-only. Which means that we cannot accept commissions from any products discussed and purchased. How we operate is simple: you pay us directly and clearly to work on your behalf.  We similarly do not accept any commissions, kick-backs or fees from any third-party expert we may refer you to. Third parties earn our referrals simply by doing great work on your behalf. 

Independent Ownership 

We are an entirely employee-owned business. As such, we believe we are best positioned to put people before profits. We have no corporate relationship with the products we recommend, financially or otherwise, and thus are focused solely on recommending what is best for you. In part, you pay us to continuously hunt for better solutions for you.  

Planning as a Profession 

We believe that when done right, the personal finance industry is a profession first and foremost. Given this, we are committed to continuous investment in additional higher education, credentialing, conferences and trade organizations that grow our skills and knowledge in service of you. You are deserving of this. 

We have no sales goals or production goals – we have only ‘people goals’ based on helping you reach your desired outcomes. This will never change. 

Who We Serve

As comprehensive financial planners, we take great pride in helping a wide range of folks that have a wide range of financial needs. That said, over time, we’ve committed more resources to deepening our offering for subsets of clients that encounter similar, challenging obstacles. Each financial plan is totally customized, but our expertise in the commonalities that they share allows for greater value delivered.

Our preferred client cares about doing better for themselves, enjoys collaboration, and is willing to delegate to our team when appropriate.  

Below you’ll find a few subsets of clients that we work deeply with, an overview of what we often see, and the ways we tackle the challenges that arrive.

Young Families & Working Professionals 

For young families and working professionals, there are seemingly endless financial decisions accompanying each new plot twist life has planned for you. In many cases, our clients are having children, changing jobs, getting promotions and bonuses, attempting to budget, saving for college and/or paying down their own student loans, and starting to accumulate enough money that they are looking for a second opinion on how it all ties together.

For these clients, we first get organized, addressing the following common needs:

  • Goal Setting & Prioritization
  • Education planning
  • Student Loan Repayment
  • Retirement planning
  • Cash flow analysis
  • Investment advice
  • Debt management
  • Estate planning
  • Insurance sufficiency
  • Tax optimization
  • Stock option planning

Once organized, we develop a roadmap to address any gaps we uncover. Life comes at you fast for this group.... so we then meet regularly to address projects (big and small), and to adjust the plan as goals inevitably shift over time.

You will have clarity and confidence with personalized education and support going forward.

Nearing Retirement

Retirement is often the #1 goal of each client engagement (although, financing college is giving it a run for its money!). The last 10-15 years of planning before you enter retirement offer a number of opportunities to “make” or “break” your ideal retirement. We will sit down with you and assess each aspect of where you stand, helping you answer the following common question:

  • Are we on track with our savings and investments?
  • Should we consider Long Term Care Insurance?
  • Will Social Security be there, and when should I take it?
  • What will healthcare cost in retirement and how do I project that over time?
  • How do I lower my tax bill in retirement and the years leading up to it?

If you’re wrestling with these questions, you are not alone and you are taking the first important steps toward building a good plan.

In Retirement

For those already in retirement, we delight in the process of organizing and optimizing what you have. We’ll often meet with folks who have managed their finances on their own for most of their careers, but want a team of professionals overseeing this phase of their finances. You’ve enjoyed accumulating and growing your accounts, but de-cumulation in a wholly new process that requires different, complex thinking. You’d also like to delegate this part of your life and focus on enjoying your time. We help these clients with the following important areas:

  • Tax optimization across your pre-tax, post-tax, taxable brokerage and savings accounts
  • Building an investment mix that meets your RMD and lifestyle needs
  • Health Insurance & Medicare Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Charitable Giving
  • Gifting and Estate Strategy
  • Business Continuity Planning

How We Help

We believe deeply in putting our clients at the center of everything we do. We lead by listening and trying to carefully understand what your needs are, large or small. Sometimes this means gathering the information needed to solve a single pressing item.  Other times this means “getting the house in order,” requiring a more comprehensive, coordinated look at several aspects of your financial life.

Our process generally takes shape in the following steps: 

Step 1 -Listening & Goal BuildingStep 2 - Number CrunchingStep 3 - Plotting our Path ForwardStep 4 - Execute & Adapt
We first and foremost work hard to  understand your personal and financial circumstances.

We then kickstart a dialogue into your near-term and long-term goals. 
Collecting the essential information (statements, reports, receipts) in a format comfortable for you.

Once the essentials are collected, we organize it and analyze it. 
Sit down to discuss how your goals and dreams align with what we learned from our number crunching session. 

From here, we plot our path forward.
Get things done! We work as a team to get the plan implemented. 

Goals ALWAYS change. We aren't striving for perfection, because it doesn't exist. When they change, we move the levers and adapt the path forward with you. 

Our planning process includes a thoughtful review of tax planning, risk management, investments, goal funding, and retirement



Between your 401k, IRAs, stocks, and mix of random investment accounts you've accumulated over time, you need some hands-on guidance on which investment strategies are right for you.Investment Management
Accomplish your short- and long-term objectives with an investment portfolio tailored according to your unique risk profile. We assess everything you own and build a personalized portfolio around it. 
You're nearing retirement and want to assess your readiness and how savings, income, and Social Security can be optimized long term. Retirement Planning
First, we'll help clarify "what retirement looks like for you." Then, between Social Security, pension, 401ks, savings,  and more, we'll give you a clear picture of your path forward. 
You’re a small business owner and want to smartly navigate the complexity of your personal taxes as well as your business taxes. Tax Planning & Preparation
Feel confident once filing season comes around with a strategic tax planning approach that keeps your numbers in order so no detail falls through the cracks.
Am I ready for a Will or a Trust? 
Life Insurance?  
Umbrella policy? 
Are my homeowners and auto policies sufficient? 
Does my estate plan match the legacy I want to leave? 
Risk Management
Estate planning and risk management are an essential conversation for people of all ages and walks of life. We act as a single, central, objective voice in a financial topic that often feels disparate and overwhelming.

We help you get clear on your wishes and make sure each piece matches that. 

You want to support the causes that matter most to you in a thoughtful and optimal way, but "don't know what you don't know" when it comes to solutions at your disposal. Charitable Giving
Giving is an important part of many near-term and long-term plans. Develop with our help a tax-optimized and flexible approach to giving to the organizations you are passionate about. 
The thought of a budget is nauseating, you just want to make sure you're not being unwise with your spending. Family Budgeting
Give your money a “job” and pay yourself first. Make it easier to save via an autopilot plan to build savings and pay down debts. We work with you to make this more simple and less painful. 
Saving for college is daunting and I'm not sure how I should prioritize it relative to everything else going on in my life. College Planning
We help parents and grandparents plan the optimal way to support their children and grandchildren’s education – from selecting the best 529 plan, to selecting the investment mix, to designing contribution amounts to hit their goals. 
You're not sure of the best repayment strategy for my student loans - federal repayment vs. private refinancing vs. public service loan forgiveness, how much and how soon! Help! Student Loan Review
We have detailed student loan process to navigate the (unfortunate) number of twists and turns in selecting the best repayment path. This is one of the largest sources of debt in our country and quite common for our work-aged clients. 
We'll gladly evaluate it in the context of your broader plan. 
You're a business owner who is unhappy with the service and selections of your current 401k provider. You want this to be a valued portion of your employees benefits, but don't see the engagement you'd like. Company 401k Plans
Benchmark Capital partners with TPAs and Recordkeepers to offer an integrated service, education, and an investment menu for you and your employees.

With an approach built on decades of experience, we invest your hard-earned money in a thoughtful, diversified manner. On a daily basis, we look for both opportunities and challenges in the markets, evaluating their potential impact on your portfolio. We believe earnestly that predicting the future in the market successfully and repeatedly over time is a recipe for underperformance. With that in mind, we strive to deliver the best possible results given your personal risk tolerance, time horizon, and tax situation. We manage to what we know we can control, and work tireless to do so as best as possible.

What we can control, and how we help:

Investment Product Quality 
One of the reasons we chose our custodian, TD Ameritrade Institutional, is that they provides us with access to one of the largest selections of mutual funds, stocks, and ETFs of any major broker/dealer on the planet. We constantly review the holdings in our portfolio for competing products that may deliver better results, better tracking to the index, and lower costs. In part, you are paying us to continually look for improved products to deliver reduced risk and superior returns.

Tax Optimization
It is nearly as difficult to predict your future tax obligations as it is to predict the market performance! Fortunately, our process accounts for this uncertainty. We optimize where we place your investments based on whether the account is taxable, pre-tax retirement or after-tax retirement.  This can enhance your long term returns and long term flexibility to respond to changes in tax rates - if you don't choose to work with Benchmark, make sure your advisor is helping you here. 

Separately, we consider all aspects of your financial plan when making trades in your accounts. Buying and selling can create taxable events - so we try to capture losses when you need to offset gains, and we try to avoid taxable gains if it isn't optimal for your situation. We've invested in best-in-class trading technology to help us monitor for these opportunities at all times. 

Thoughtful Diversification 

This is an important measure of how well all of your assets operate in tandem with one another. If you own real estate, a small business, restricted stock, collectables, and on, often an investment portfolio assembled by an advisor does not consider these outside financial risks. To the extent that we can, we consider all aspects of your financial life, and build the best diversification given this.

Portfolios That Match Your Personal Risk
We build our portfolios to meet you where you are, rather than the other way around. We work hard to learn about where your risk comfort lies, and review this comfort regularly to see if portfolio changes are warranted. We are happy to offer access to our dynamic risk assessment tool at any time, before or after becoming a client. 

For small business owners, offering a compelling benefits package is as important now as it’s ever been. A retirement plan is an important consideration in your ability to recruit and retain talent. That said, it is difficult to navigate which plan type to choose, the complicated rules of engagement, and how to limit your liability.

We take a fiduciary, consultative mindset into the conversations and start by educating you with your choices. If a 401k plan is the appropriate path to choose, we have built an offering to deliver investments and education to you and your employees. 

When you work with us, we will:

Educate First 
Our cornerstone is education. In partnering with Benchmark, you are getting a team committed to educating you, the plan sponsor, and your employees, the plan participants. We aim to help the plan sponsors feel confident in offering the solution, and plan participants feel confident in saving for their future. 

Deliver Great Service
We work hard to carry forward our high standards of service by partnering with top performing Third Party Administrators (TPAs) in this space. As advisors to the plan, our team is accessible to teach your team the benefits of investing and saving for retirement. 

Choose Partners That Fit Your Needs
We work for you alone! Therefore, any partner we bring to the table (TPA, Recordkeeper, investment option) is chosen for the optimal performance of the plan relative to your needs. We shop your options and deliver clear pricing for each choice we make together.

Client Resources 

Financial Planning Portal

Client Login

Investment Portal

Client Login

TD Ameritrade Institutional 

Client Login

Schwab Advisor Services 

Client Login

Download the Benchmark Capital App

SEC Form CRS About Benchmark Capital Group Found HERE

Benchmark’s current SEC disclosures can be found HERE 

FINRA Broker check HERE 

Tax Resources at IRS.GOV HERE 

Social Security Administration Resources HERE

Pictured: Dave Swisher, Tom Kaminski, Rich Hahn

Connect with us - In Person or Virtually

We would love to hear from you. Please fill out the brief information below and we'll respond shortly to help. Or give us a ring now at #815-777-0600 and Linda will be happy to set up a no-obligation 30 minute call with one of our advisors. 

We look forward to joining you on your journey.

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