If they know how to invest! Anyone can invest in stocks, even the average joe. The problem with buying stocks for most people is they don't know how to invest wisely. I know a few "average joes" who are really into stocks, and they do very well keeping up with the information. It's all about how much time you are willing to invest into watching the stock market and knowing about the company that you are investing in.
The average investor cannot get the gains they need for their retirement without some average growth stocks. Bonds won't get most people where they need to be. Even with the risk of stocks they are absolutely necessary for the average investor and risk can be reduced by having a portfolio that is diversified
No, buying stocks can be very strange and tricky for the average person. Wall street has proved itself very unreliable for a average persons money. I don't think that everyday working people can afford to handle the up and down of the market. I think that investing is good but it must be done in a more responsible way and wall street is not responsible these days.
No, I don't believe that buying stocks is a good idea for the average Joe. I think that there is too much risk involved for the average person to be able to take financial wise. I feel that the intricacies of the stock market are too complex for a layman to make significant gains without the investment of a lot of hours of research on how to play the market. Without this time investment I believe that the potential pitfalls involved are far too great for the average person to take on their own.