Mutual fund shareholder sentiment was on the rise again in 2006, according to a survey from the Investment Company Institute of Washington, and some experts say it's proof that the industry is making strides at reclaiming its reputation as a noble custodian of Americans' precious investment dollars.

"As players in the financial services industry go today, I'll trust my money to a mutual fund manager before any other," said Mercer Bullard, a shareholder activist and assistant professor of law at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

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