American IRA Discusses Doing Due Diligence on Self-Directed IRA Advisors


CHARLOTTE, N.C./ APRIL 15, 2019 (STL.News)

Why do investors need to do proper due diligence before working with Self-Directed IRA advisors? According to a recent post at American IRA, a Self-Directed IRA firm based in Asheville, North Carolina, a recent episode in which someone did not perform their due diligence proved to be highly problematic.

The article at American IRA highlights the case of Perry Santillo, the founder/CEO of a Baltimore-based wealth management company as well as the popular host of a radio broadcast called “The Money Guys.” According to the American IRA article, Santillo was found to have solicited at least 99 investors, trying to convince them to buy annuities and other assets with their existing retirement accounts and rolling the proceeds into a Self-Directed IRA.

This action, in and of itself, is not necessarily problematic, according to the post. But once the rollovers were in place, the State of Maryland said Santillo then steered those investments into promissory notes for other companies. This blatant conflict of interest is against the rules. And because Santillo did not register with the State of Maryland as a financial advisor, there should have been no specific investment advice taking place at all.

“This kind of case highlights how important it is for someone to do their due diligence before deciding what to do with their money,” said Jim Hitt of American IRA. “An individual investor places a lot of faith with someone else when they hear their advice on retirement matters. If they are not careful, those funds could end up going to the wrong places. In extreme cases, they can even go toward lining the pockets of those advisers who do not have their clients’ best interests at heart.”

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The post at American IRA also highlighted a number of “red flags” for which holders of Self-Directed IRAs should watch out for.

A third-party administrator of Self-Directed IRAs, American IRA does not provide specific investment advice, but instead handles administration of the account. For more information on what this means, be sure to visit the blog at or call 866-7500-IRA.

American IRA, LLC was established in 2004 by Jim Hitt, CEO in Asheville, NC.
The mission of American IRA is to provide the highest level of customer service in the self-directed retirement industry. Jim Hitt and his team have grown the company to over $400 million in assets under administration by educating the public that their Self-Directed IRA account can invest in a variety of assets such as real estate, private lending, limited liability companies, precious metals and much more.

As a Self-Directed IRA administrator, they are a neutral third party. They do not make any recommendations to any person or entity associated with investments of any type (including financial representatives, investment promoters or companies, or employees, agents or representatives associated with these firms). They are not responsible for and are not bound by any statements, representations, warranties or agreements made by any such person or entity and do not provide any recommendation on the quality profitability or reputability of any investment, individual or company. The term “they” refers to American IRA, located in Asheville and Charlotte, NC.”