Brian Hamilton is the co-founder and CEO of Sageworks, a financial software and information company serving thousands of accounting firms and financial institutions across North America and the United Kingdom. Sageworks has unique insights into the 27 million privately held companies in the U.S.

At our recent Motley Fool 2011 Investing Conference, Hamilton gave a presentation on "The State of the Real Economy: Where Private Companies Stand and Why You Should Care." You can watch video of his talk below (running time is approximately eight minutes) or read the full, lightly edited transcript below. Note: This was recorded on Sept. 22, 2011.