there is one way in which casual trading might be ok - and that's doing it directly but within an area you're familiar with. The only few 'common Joes' I know that are ok as non-proffesional traders simply trade in stock they know about due to the nature of their work, the fact that they naturally keep in touch with news and have enough knowledge to evaluate trends.

But of course, you do need both knowledge and strong stomach to weather out the short term downfalls.