LAKE Macquarie City Council's investments have hit $184 million.
But one councillor has raised questions about the result.
Councils invest money held in reserve for specific purposes and cash received at different times to when it is planned to be spent.
The council regularly produces reports for councillors on its investments.
Almost like clockwork, a councillor will rise in the council chamber to congratulate the council on its performance.
But in a departure from convention, councillor Barry Johnston rose at a meeting on Monday to challenge council staff on the topic.
In his decade in office, Cr Johnston said every investment report showed the council had outperformed the benchmark.
"I'm not saying we should take risky investments, but we need to have a better indication of how we're performing - rather than look at it against the bank-bill index [the benchmark]," Cr Johnston said.
He urged the council to adopt a critical approach and compare its investments with a different index.
Council strategy director Tony Farrell told the meeting the benchmark was "not a performance indicator", but showed what the council would receive if it simply kept its money in the bank.
"If the council wants an alternative measure, we can look at it," he said.
Councillor Laurie Coghlan said in jest that the council's investments were outperforming his investments.
Council finance manager Ross Gilshenan said the NSW government had restricted investment opportunities for councils since the global financial crisis.
Many councils lost millions during the crisis, after buying dodgy collateralised debt obligations from Lehman Brothers Australia.
Lake Macquarie council's latest investment report said its portfolio was returning 3.96 per cent in the financial year to date, which was above the "benchmark" of 2.69 per cent.
It invests in term deposits, corporate bonds, floating rate notes, mortgage-backed securities and managed funds, a report said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.