Also regarding IRAs, with securities prices severely depressed, Obama has proposed temporarily waiving the penalty for failure to take required minimum distributions.

More Concerns
Clients who run private equity or hedge funds could see their carried interests taxed as earned income subject to ordinary rates and that nasty self-employment tax, rather than as capital gains. Executive clients, meanwhile, might face limits on their compensation.

"Obama's people have talked about a $1 million limit on performance-based compensation," Luscombe says.  That might be enacted for all taxpayers, perhaps in exchange for lowering the corporate tax rate.  Or, any new limits on compensation might only apply at companies that get government assistance as part of economic-stimulus legislation."

Physicians could get squeezed, too, adds Brown.  "My doctor clients recognize that with so many uninsured and underinsured people, there are going to be changes in healthcare and they are a little nervous about it.  But my guess is it'll take five years," he says.

For business, one proposal is cap-gains-free investing in small enterprises and startups.  "This would help the startups that are having a hard time raising capital right now," says Brown.  Another possibility is a $3,000 tax credit for each new full-time hire in 2009 and 2010.

Undoubtedly, though, it's big-picture economic policies that are likely to impact clients' businesses the most. Take Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan, designed to put 3.5
million Americans to work building roads, modernizing schools, improving government buildings' energy efficiency and widening the Internet's reach.  While businesses in industries such as technology and construction will directly benefit, any business should benefit from improvement in the general weal.

Clients probably know that.  "When we talk to ultra-high-net-worth people, they say, 'OK, I'll pay a little more in taxes, but I want it invested-not spent-to create more jobs and more prosperity for everybody,'" says Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute, an affluent-consumer research firm in New York. "They recognize very clearly that a strong middle class and the ability for people to move up the economic ladder is necessary for their own businesses to do well."